Henry Cejudo campaigned hard for a bout with TJ Dillashaw, at 135 pounds, but it looks like the UFC’s flyweight champ may not see a future competing at bantamweight.
After Cejudo ended Demetrious Johnson’s historic reign as the flyweight champ this past August, the Olympic Gold Medal wrestler made it clear he wanted to face Dillashaw for the bantamweight title. Dillashaw, however, pushed for the fight to be at 125, and recently it was announced the two will battle for the flyweight belt on January 26th.
News of the match-up turned more than a few heads, since recently it’s been reported that the UFC is planning to shut down the flyweight division. UFC President Dana White was recently asked about this, and he said the promotion’s “working on some things”; but many believe the 125 division’s days are numbered.
“I still feel there is a trilogy between Henry Cejudo and Demetrious and I see that playing out in the future,” said Henry. “I signed a six-fight deal, but I think everything changes once they dismiss the flyweight division if that’s going to be the plan. I would have to talk to Ali but I believe there is a free agency in there, possibly.”
“Well, I fight this fight, I beat T.J, and if they get rid of the division, I believe the contract is signed at 125 pounds, so there is room there, is what I am saying. I wouldn’t necessarily say (this is my last fight), I love UFC and I love being at home. I’m just saying that if the numbers aren’t played right, possibly, I would have to see the contract or what-not. But I like that people leaving only brings competition to UFC. This is good for us fighters. UFC may not want to hear it but Demetrious and Eddie Alvarez leaving, that gives us negotiations (power). It gives us more room.”
So, these comments are interesting on a couple of levels. One, yes, the fact Cejudo is targeting a rubber match with Johnson at some juncture should be welcome news to many fans, and ONE Championship would very likely be interested in making that happen.
Cejudo’s comments about exploring free agency are also noteworthy, as many likely assumed he would just commit to fighting at 135, if the UFC gets rid of the flyweight division. Cejudo has fought at 135 in the past, and he was, after all, pushing for a bout with Dillashaw at that weight. But, it looks like the decorated fighter will have some questions for the UFC, if the promotion does indeed shutter the men’s flyweight bracket.