For fans hoping that Henry Cejudo’s win over TJ Dillashaw would somehow cause the UFC to reconsider cutting their flyweight division, the news does not look good. Even the champion admits that, despite his best efforts, the future of 125ers in the Octagon is decidedly uncertain. What’s much more certain, however, is that the ‘Messenger’ is likely headed for a rematch with Dillashaw at 135 lbs.
In a recent media scrum ahead of UFC 234, Cejudo spoke to the press about flyweight MMA in the UFC, Dillashaw, Nikki Bella, his stuffed snake, and a whole lot more.
“You know, I spoke to Dana White,” Cejudo revealed. “I had a meeting with him that Wednesday, after my victory. I’m getting no answers from him either. There’s a pink elephant in the room. It’s almost like, ‘Hey I’m the champ,’ I should be told something, at least, a little bit out of respect. But, it’s still unsure of. One thing that they do want, they do want that TJ fight. Dana wants it, TJ wants it, we want it. That’s kinda where everything’s headed as of now.”
Cejudo added that his chief interest in giving Dillashaw a second shot at him, at bantamweight, lies in removing any excuses that might stem from his Duane Ludwig trained opponent’s weight cut. “I know I could beat the man again at 135 lbs,” Cejudo stated.
As for the uncertain future of his own division, Cejudo spread the blame around for the UFC’s recent wave of cuts. Not so much toward the promotion as former champion Demetrious Johnson, and the rest of the fighters that ‘Mighty Mouse’ toyed with during his reign.
“Welcome to the UFC, welcome to MMA,” Cejudo responded when asked about the lack of clarity coming from Dana White. “Again, I’m speechless, because I don’t know what to tell you guys. I really don’t. I think I did my job. I took the man out – the greatest bantamweight of all time – in 32 seconds. If people think or believe that the flyweight division is boring, man, you’re out of your mind.
“Part of it, I think we’re all at fault in some ways. And I’m even going to blame Demetrious a little bit, that he’s at fault. He could have been a little more vocal, a little more flamboyant, a little more... I’ve spoken to DJ and he’s a very charismatic dude, he has a personality. But you put him on the camera and it’s simple answers, you know? We’re in the entertainment business. Part of it is us, the flyweights. He beat everybody up. They saw us as little kids. ‘Okay, this is the dad, he’s beating up his kids.’ Finally, I beat him – I take him out – and... My god, guys, I speak 3 languages. I don’t think I’m that boring. I may do some cringey and crazy things, but for crying out loud, I have Nikki Bella calling me out. C’mon guys.”
Whether or not Cejudo’s own efforts can bear any fruit for other fighters hoping to stay at 125 remains to be seen. But, with recent apparent releases of John Moraga and Dustin Ortiz, for moment things still look pretty bleak for UFC flyweights.