Dillashaw Takes Huge Payday To “Kill” Flyweight Division
With the trade of Demetrious Johnson and the releasing of numerous flyweights, the UFC flyweight division is on its way out, and T.J. Dillashaw is there to lock the door and turn out the lights.
“The UFC wants to get rid of the division and they hired me to go down and close it and get another belt in the process,” Dillashaw said to Ariel Helwani.
“It’s a win-win for me. They’re paying me a f*ck-load of money to move down and kill the 125-pound division and collect a second belt. So, it’s game time.”
The fight set for UFC 233 in January will see Dillashaw drop from bantamweight to flyweight and face off with current champion Henry Cejudo. Cejudo ended one of the most prolific streaks in MMA history when he defeated Demetrious Johnson earlier this year, but now Dillashaw looks to claim the division as his own.
“It seems like I’m gonna take it over, man,” said Dillashaw. “I mean, if I’m the champ in both weight classes, why even have it? All the attention is at 135 anyway so at the end of the day, make the guys that they believe should stick around, come up and challenge for the belt.”
Dillashaw has been calling for flyweight title fight since 2017, wanting to fight then champion Demetrious Johnson, but would be denied by the then champion in-lieu of a fight with a natural flyweight. Now with Cejudo as the titleholder, the deal would be made and Dillashaw has begun the process to be the last man to hold the UFC flyweight title.
“I’m already starting the process, already working on it,” said Dillashaw. “It’s gonna be better this way, anyway, because there’s no excuse. No excuses that I’m the bigger man, that I’m bigger when I’m fighting him. Because I’m gonna come down and make the weight.
“I believe we’re on the same weight, anyways, I’m a small 135’er. I’ve got no problem making 125. It’s gonna be a little more work, I’m gonna be a little more dedicated and be in better shape. So, I’m excited for the opportunity. Like I said, it’s a win-win for me. I’ll continue to grow my legacy, get another belt, and be the last flyweight champion ever.”
Quotes Transcribed by MMAFighting