Champion vs. champion is the fad of the moment for the UFC’s best fighters. What had long seemed like more of a pipe dream than a reality under Joe Silva’s eye has become a major factor in current UFC matchmaking for their title holders – ever since Conor McGregor defeated Eddie Alvarez to become the first two-division champ back in 2016.
Daniel Cormier made the best of his opportunity, wresting the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic to accompany his light heavyweight strap. And a possible unification bout between flyweight and bantamweight looked to be holding the interest of current 135 champion TJ Dillashaw as the promotion’s next ‘superfight.’ At least, it did when Demetrious Johnson was champion.
After Henry Cejudo took the flyweight title from ‘Mighty Mouse’ – in a controversial split decision at UFC 227 on Saturday – he made his own campaign for the ‘double champ’ moniker. “I want to fight the winner at 135 lbs. I deserve it. Olympic champion, now UFC champion. Now give me the best at 135 lbs,” he told Joe Rogan in his post fight interview.
And after beating Cody Garbrandt, in the heat of the moment, that seemed like a bout Dillashaw was happy to accept. “Bring it, baby. Lets do this,” Dillashaw responded when asked about Cejudo’s offer.
However, given a little more time to think about it, it appears that the Bang Muay Thai trained athlete isn’t quite as interested in a fight against the new flyweight champ as he might have seemed. When asked about the bout in the post fight presser, Dillashaw didn’t say he’d turn it down, but he didn’t sound like he’d be looking for it either (h/t MMA Weekly).
“It’s whatever is going to give me the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” Dillashaw said when asked about his interest in moving to flyweight for a title fight. “You know, I believe I am that guy. So, whatever that biggest challenge is, lets bring it.”
“You know, I don’t really think the guy would deserve it,” he added, when asked about the idea of Cejudo moving up to fight him. “I mean, Joseph Benavidez just beat him. Yeah, he lost a split decision to Pettis, but I didn’t agree with that loss. So, I think there’s a lot of stuff there. And he’s got, possibly, a trilogy with ‘Mighty Mouse.’ So, I don’t know. I’m open for whatever, though. I’m not stepping away from a challenge, that’s for sure.”
When asked about a possible Dominick Cruz fight, Dillashaw more or less declined to answer, saying instead that he’s looking forward to a “staycation.” Although he did add his name to the growing list of fighters calling for a chance at Brock Lesnar. After all, you miss all the shots you don’t take.