With a successful cut down to 125 pounds in the books, reigning UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw is ready to roll later tonight (Sat., Jan. 19, 2018) at UFC on ESPN+ 1 from inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, when he takes on Henry Cejudo for the UFC’s flyweight belt.
While this will be Dillashaw’s first fight at this weight, the bantamweight champ has everything it takes to defeat Cejudo this weekend in Brooklyn and become just the fourth fighter in UFC history to simultaneously hold two titles. Fight fans may have been worried about Dillashaw’s drop down to flyweight considering weight cuts are becoming more and more dangerous these days, but T.J. took his time and did it the right way.
In fact, the bantamweight king is feeling stronger than he did for his last fight against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 227 this past August.
“People always think I’m lying but I’m actually stronger now than I was my last camp,” Dillashaw told BJPENN Radio. “I put up some [personal records] on my clean and press and doing some PRs on my weightlifting, which is pretty impressive.”
Dillashaw, 32, has only lost to Dominick Cruz via split decision since the start of 2014. That sort of dominance is feeding “Killashaw” the confidence he needs to perform well for UFC’s debut with ESPN. Even though Cejudo is coming off a monumental victory over pound-for-pound legend Demetrious Johnson this past August Dillashaw is pretty sure he’ll take out “Messenger” on his own terms.
“I mean he’s competitive,” Dillashaw said. “He’s an athlete. He’s an Olympic gold mentalist so he’s got some attributes, but really I don’t see a challenge. I see me just having to get out there and perform. Go out there and have some fun, perform.”
If Dillashaw is able to defeat Cejudo he may very well put an end to the UFC’s struggling flyweight division. It has become a villainous move of sorts for the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion, but ultimately an opportunity to prove he’s one of the very best fighters in the world today.
“I’ll be the last flyweight champion,” Dillashaw proclaimed. “I mean really what it comes down to man, is cementing my legacy and realizing that I’m the greatest fighter on this planet. I think that I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and that’s me proving it. I’ll be able to go down a weight class, I can go up a weight class, I can beat everyone and I know it. Me and Duane [Ludwig], my coach, and my teammates and my other coaches know that I’m the greatest pound-for-pound fighter and I’m looking to prove it.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 143 fight card, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 6:30 p.m. ET followed by the ESPN “Prelims” undercard bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.