Now that T.J. Dillashaw has closed the chapter on his rivalry with former teammate Cody Garbrandt, the UFC bantamweight champion is free to explore all available options for his next Octagon appearance.
While the 135-pound class sports worthwhile title challengers like former champion Dominick Cruz and streaking finisher Marlon Moraes, Dillashaw may end up locking horns with the promotion’s flyweight king.
That title was previously held by pound-for-pound legend Demetrious Johnson before Henry Cejudo upset “Mighty Mouse” earlier this month at UFC 227. That puts Cejudo in the driver’s seat at 125 pounds and all but dissolves a rumored superfight between Dillashaw and Johnson.
Cejudo is ready to move up and test the waters at bantamweight as he aims to become a “triple champ,” but Dillashaw is also open to the idea of dropping down to flyweight and cementing his own legacy as a two-division titleholder.
“I’m up for the challenge,” Dillashaw told Brendan Schaub on Below the Belt when talking about Cejudo’s plans. “I think I walk right through you.”
“I think it’d be great,” he continued. “The thing is, too, if you want to fight me, I’m coming for you.”
As far as dropping down to 125 pounds, the UFC bantamweight champion isn’t too worried about the extra weight cut. After all, Dillashaw was more than willing to compete at flyweight when “Mighty Mouse” was driving the bus so why would anything change now for Cejudo?
“Absolutely. I can make it easy,” explained Dillashaw. “I got down the day of weigh-ins to 133. I weighed 133 the day of weigh-ins, and I was like, ‘Oh shit, I might as well drink a couple more pounds’. I made weight easy, super easy.”
While it would be exciting to see Dillashaw try to become the third fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold two titles (Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier being the other two), there’s just too much business to handle at 135 pounds before a move down makes sense.
Moraes has already done enough to lock down a title shot with Dillashaw, while Cruz’s track record and previous victory over the champion leaves enough meat on the bone for a rematch. You also have Raphael Assuncao if UFC wants to run that back for a third time.
We’ll have to wait and see what the promotion has in store for Dillashaw. But considering the bantamweight champion is coming off back-to-back knockout finishes over “No Love,” maybe UFC will let him pull a string or two moving forward.