In the wake of his shock victory over pound for pound great Demetrious Johnson, to claim the Flyweight title, Henry Cejudo called out the winner of the “next bout”. He wants to face TJ Dillashaw at 135 pounds for a chance to become the third simultaneous two-weight champion in the UFC. But has Cejudo done enough to earn that fight? Not in the eyes of TJ Dillashaw.
Discussions of a superfight between the champions of the Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions are nothing new, it started way back when Cody Garbrandt called out Demetrious Johnson. Garbrandt claimed he would drop down to 125 pounds for the chance to take on Mighty Mouse, and end his 5 year long rule over the division. When Garbrandt had to delay his title defense against TJ Dillashaw in late 2017, Dillashaw was then the next one to call out Johnson, claiming he would drop down to 125 pounds to fight him. Johnson rejected the fight, saying it was unfair for Dillashaw to “jump the queue” when fighters in his division had worked hard to earn a title shot.
For a long time it looked like we were finally going to see that superfight after Dillashaw defeated Garbrandt to claim the 135 pound crown, however the UFC knew that they could capitalise on the heat between the two former camp teammates to make an immediate rematch between Garbrandt and Dillashaw, the idea of DJ losing his title never really considered to be an option.
Even going into this past weekend, knowing that Mighty Mouse would be fighting on the UFC 227 card and defending his title, both Dillashaw and Garbrandt were calling him out. Both claiming that they wanted the next shot at him once they had emerged victorious from their fight. Then out of nowhere, Henry Cejudo threw a spanner in the works, edging out a split decision victory to become the new 125 pound champion, and end the streak that Dillashaw was so desperate to get a piece of.
What happens now?
So where does this live the potential superfight between 125 and 135? Well Cejudo still thinks it should go ahead, claiming that he would move up to 135 to take on the winner of Dillashaw/Garbrandt, however the interest from Dillashaw hasn’t quite been there, going on to say after his fight: “You know, I don’t really think the guy would deserve it,” he added, when asked about the idea of Cejudo moving up to fight him. “I mean, Joseph Benavidez just beat him. Yeah, he lost a split decision to Pettis, but I didn’t agree with that loss. So, I think there’s a lot of stuff there. And he’s got, possibly, a trilogy with ‘Mighty Mouse.’ So, I don’t know. I’m open for whatever, though. I’m not stepping away from a challenge, that’s for sure.”
Most fighters and fans are adamant that Johnson deserves an immediate rematch with Cejudo, once he has recovered from the injuries he suffered during the fight (Johnson said after the fight he felt like he had torn his left MCL and broken his foot). This would put a superfight on the back burner for the time being and allow Dillashaw a chance to defend his title against a top contender in his division. Once the dust settles after those fights, it is anyone’s guess what happens next.