At UFC on ESPN+ 1 — Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) debut event on ESPN — Henry Cejudo knocked out T.J. Dillashaw in just 32 seconds to retain his Flyweight title. Several months later, it was revealed that Dillashaw had failed a drug test for EPO, prompting T.J. to vacate his title, and United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) to slap him with a two-year suspension from the sport.
While he will be unable to return to action until early 2021, getting one back on Cejudo is still something the former champion desperately wants. And if Dillashaw still has animosity toward “Triple C,” it’s not so much for his trash talk and theatrics, but more-so for the way he carries himself.
“I definitely have some animosity toward myself, toward the sport, just everything,” Dillashaw said during a chat with Chael Sonnen (via MMA Junkie). “I have some enemies who are definitely going to stay my enemies for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t say it’s because (Cejudo) is a (expletive) talker, it’s more just the way he carries himself.”
The loss to Cejudo was Dillashaw’s first in nearly three years, so it’s easy to see why he wants to get it back.
“It’s just something that I want back, not so much because he’s bad-mouthed or treated me a certain way. 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 has a long way to go before he can get another crack at Cejudo. And even when he returns, there is no guarantee that “Triple C” will be at the top of any mountain thanks to talented contenders such as Joseph Benavidez eager to usurp his cringeworthy crown.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Indeed, UFC President Dana White has already stated that if Cejudo doesn’t defend his 125-pound title against Benavidez — who defeated Cejudo via split decision in 2016 — he would be stripped of that title. As for Dillashaw, he recently underwent surgery to address a few nagging injuries, taking advantage of his time off to heal and come back 100 percent.
Get the latest gear
- 2023 Panini Prizm UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Panini Select UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- Islam Makhachev Walkout Jersey
- UFC Fanatics Single Glove Display Case
- 2022 Panini Donruss Optic Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Donruss UFC Retail Blaster Box
- Miesha Tate UFC Authentic Plaque
- Brock Lesnar WWE Home Sweet Home Collage