TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo fought in early 2019, but the bad blood between them didn’t evaporate thereafter.
Instead, Dillashaw says he’ll always have some animosity toward his former opponent.
“I definitely have some animosity towards myself, towards the sport, just everything,” Dillashaw said during a chat with Chael Sonnen (via MMA Junkie). “I have some enemies that are definitely going to stay my enemies for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t say it’s because (Cejudo) is a s**t-talker, it’s more just the way he carries himself.”
Cejudo defeated Dillashaw by first-round TKO. Dillashaw says this loss is still festering in his mind, and he’s eager for the opportunity to avenge it.
“It’s just something that I want back, not so much because he’s bad-mouthed or treated me a certain way,” he said. “It’s just something that is burning inside of me, to get my belt back, to get that win back, to get back to where I need to be to get this thing behind me.”
Dillashaw, of course, will have to wait for the opportunity to rematch Cejudo. The former bantamweight champion is currently sidelined due to an unfortunate United States Anti-Doping Agency suspension.
In the meantime, he feels that Cejudo should defend the UFC flyweight title opposite top contender Joseph Benavidez.
“I think it would be very dumb for Cejudo not to fight Joseph Benavidez,” Dillashaw said. “That’s his last loss; that’s a fight that he has to make up. I think Joseph Benavidez has a great threat against him, too. That’s the fight that needs to happen, and he can’t be calling himself ‘Triple C’ no more if he’s going to be giving up a belt, so he needs to go down there and get it done and fight Joseph Benavidez.
“I think that’s the next fight for him. It makes the most sense. It’s the biggest draw. It’s a fight that was close, but Joseph did edge that fight out.”
Do you think we’ll see TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo fight again in the future?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/25/2019.