A rumored superfight between bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and newly crowned flyweight king Henry Cejudo appears to be a reality for UFC 233 on Jan. 26, according to multiple reports.
The kicker, in this case, is that it will come at 125 pounds as Dillashaw (16-3) attempts to move down in weight to challenge for Cejudo’s title amid conflicting reports that UFC is set to remove the flyweight division from existence to open 2019.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report the flyweight title bout early Friday for the card scheduled for the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, on the same night UFC rival Bellator MMA will present the finals of its Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament featuring Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen in nearby Inglewood.
UFC has yet to publicly confirm the original report it was disbanding the flyweight division altogether despite multiple 125-pound fighters sharing the news on social media that they have been cut by the promotion. It’s far from coincidental that the timing of all the flyweight news comes immediately after UFC executed a trade to send former champion Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship in Asia for unbeaten welterweight Ben Askren.
Dillashaw, 32, had shared interest in the past of moving down to flyweight in order to challenge Johnson. Then, after Cejudo (13-2) upset Johnson by split decision in their August rematch, the former Olympic gold medalist called out Dillashaw for a bantamweight bout.
Should Dillashaw be successful in defeating Cejudo, he would become the sixth fighter in UFC history to win titles in two divisions, joining Randy Couture, BJ Penn, Conor McGregor, Georges St-Pierre and Daniel Cormier. He would also join McGregor and Cormier in being just the third to do so simultaneously.
The superfight also comes on the heels of what feels like a new trend for UFC after Cormier moved up in weight to stop heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in July and women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes signed on to challenge featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino at UFC 232 on Dec. 29.
Dillashaw-Cejudo could become the final men’s flyweight bout in UFC history should the promotion follow through on removing the division.
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