On January 19, in the main event of the UFC’s first card on the streaming service ESPN+, UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will drop down to flyweight to challenge divisional champ Henry Cejudo for his belt.
Heading into this fight, one of the biggest challenges TJ Dillashaw is expected to face is the weight cut down to the 125-pound flyweight limit itself. He tends to look pretty buff when he fights in the 135-pound bantamweight division, and some fans have a hard time envisioning him safely making the cut down to flyweight.
It’s starting to look like these doubts are off base.
In a recent photo shared to Instagram, TJ Dillashaw looks absolutely shredded — and much more slender than he typically does ahead of his bantamweight fights.
See this slimmed down version of TJ Dillashaw below (h/t Chisanga Malata).
TJ Dillashaw is looking absolutely shredded one month before his #UFC flyweight title fight with Henry Cejudo. I think it’s safe to say our concerns, and Demetrious Johnson’s, that he may not make 125lbs were misplaced.
DJ should’ve taken the fight when it was on the table. pic.twitter.com/f9KQ99tUif
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) December 23, 2018
Despite the widespread doubt that TJ Dillashaw can make the flyweight limit, the champ himself has always been adamant that it’s doable.
“I walk around lean, I’m on a good diet, I’m on a great lifestyle year-round. I can definitely make the weight,” Dillashaw said on an early 2018 episode of BJPENN Radio. “When I was told I was going to be fighting Demetrious the summer of last year, I was told I was gonna be fighting him in August, I was waking up at 154 at the time and within three weeks of me thinking I was fighting Demetrious, I was waking up at 140 and that was a little bit fast-tracked – I’d like to do it even smarter than that – but I was already waking up at 140 pounds.”
“[140 is] only 15 pounds over weight,” he continued. “I can lose that whenever I needed to. I’m looking to do it smart, intelligent, the way that it should be done like a professional athlete, not some meathead.”
Do you think TJ Dillashaw can successfully make the flyweight division’s 125-pound limit?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/23/2018.