Shortly after Henry Cejudo defied the odds and swiped the UFC flyweight title from the waist of long-time champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227, he called out TJ Dillashaw, who defended the UFC bantamweight title with a first-round knockout of Cody Garbrandt in the card’s main event. Cejudo’s hope, he explained, was to move up to bantamweight and challenge Dillashaw in an attempt at becoming a two-division champion.
Initially, TJ Dillashaw seemed lukewarm about the possibility. More recently, however, he’s sounding a lot more interested in fighting Henry Cejudo — just not under quite the circumstances Cejudo hoped.
Speaking on the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show, TJ Dillashaw divulged that he’s hoping to cut down to flyweight to challenge Cejudo for his title, rather than the other way around. He considers this the best possible option for his legacy at present, not just because a win would make him a two-division champion, but because Henry Cejudo is a former Olympic gold medalist in wrestling.
“The Henry Cejudo thing entertains me so much because he’s a gold medalist,” TJ Dillashaw told Joe Rogan (transcript via MMA Fighting). “He wants to claim himself as the greatest combat athlete ever. ‘I’m a UFC champion, I’m a gold medalist!’ I’ll go out there and beat you in wrestling. MMA wrestling is completely different. I’m the better athlete. I can beat him anywhere, I know I can, watching him fight. That’s why I’m very excited about it. I think it’s the greatest thing for my name right now.”
While TJ Dillashaw is interested in this fight, he says there’s no movement with respect to making it official just yet — though he seems to believe the UFC is interested.
“There’s been nothing serious but there’s been hints and we did our media tour together and they put us on camera together and had us talk shit to each other,” the bantamweight champ said. “They didn’t say that because everything is real but it’s like, ‘ Oh shit, this is what you guys want! Okay, you really think you can beat me? Then fuck you man, let’s do this shit!’”
Dillashaw then reiterated that, for him, this fight would need to occur at flyweight, not bantamweight. That way there can be no excuses.
“[At] 125, absolutely,” TJ Dillashaw said. “I don’t want no excuses that I’m the bigger man.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/13/2018.