TJ Dillashaw Looks to Become Double Champ vs Henry Cejudo in Flyweight Title Fight at UFC 233
Most weren’t expecting a flyweight versus bantamweight superfight at this point, but that’s exactly what will happen at UFC 233 when TJ Dillashaw (16-3) jumps down in weight to take on recently crowned flyweight champion Henry Cejudo (13-2). The circumstances around the fight are a bit unusual, but at the same time, it’s one of the more intriguing situations the UFC has had in awhile. It’s well known at this point that Dana White wanted a bout earlier this year between former champion Demetrious Johnson and Dillashaw, but Johnson took the fight with flyweight contender Henry Cejudo instead and lost in a historic upset.
Now, we’re still getting the flywweight versus bantamweight superfight. But with Johnson moving to ONE Championship as part of a major shakeup that will also see Eddie Alvarez fight for the Asian promotion, it won’t carry any of the controversy about whether or not Johnson deserves the immediate rematch. Even if he does, it’s not possible at this point. Instead of a rematch, the next flyweight title fight will feature a very interesting stylistic matchup between Cejudo, a wrestler who took home gold in the Beijing Olympics, and Dillashaw, a Muay Thai fighter who recently defended his title with dominant striking.
Cejudo is riding a three fight winning streak that includes his upset of Johnson at UFC 227. Immediately after that fight was over, he showed interest in moving up in weight to fight Dillashaw. However, it appears that this fight will take place at flyweight rather than bantamweight. It’s a very strange move considering the fact that there’s talks about the flyweight division being removed entirely, with the departure of Johnson.
Former UFC fighter Jose Torres claims that he was cut because of the promotion’s plans to scrap the division, so even if Dillashaw were to win and become the double champion at 125 and 135 lbs, it’s debatable how long that would last. Still, Dillashaw has as good a chance as anyone to win here and take his second belt, even if it’s temporary. He’s on a four fight winning streak, and in the last two victories, he defeated Cody Garbrandt at his own game by out-striking him. It remains to be seen, though, how he’ll deal with Cejudo’s wrestling.
The fight is set to take place January 26, at UFC 233 in Anaheim. The card is still being built up, but so far, other fights include Paul Felder versus James Vick and Francisco Trinaldo versus Islam Makhachev.