TJ Dillashaw shocked the world on Tuesday when he announced he was relinquishing the bantamweight title after ‘adverse findings’ in his pre-fight drug sample. He would also be suspended a year leaving what is next for the bantamweight division unknown.
One thing was for sure is that Marlon Moraes was going to be fighting for the vacant bantanweigh title no matter what. Ultimately, UFC President Dana White provided an update last night on the state of the bantamweight and flyweight division.
“I now have a plan. I didn’t have a plan before but now I have a plan. You know it looks like we’re going to do, uh you know, the (Marlon) Moraes vs. (Henry) Cejudo fight. They both want that fight really bad,” White said. “It seems like a good fight to make with the whole (TJ) Dillashaw thing now. Then you do (Jussier) Formiga vs. (Joseph) Benavidez on the same card and if anything goes wrong one of them can step up and take the fight. Then the winner of that fight (Formiga vs. Benavidez) is the guaranteed number one contender and gets to fight for the title in their next fight.”
Cejudo last fought at UFC Brooklyn in January where he knocked out Dillashaw in 32 seconds to remain the flyweight champion. The win was supposed to set up the rematch at bantamweight for Dillashaw’s title but will now be fighting for the vacant title instead. Moraes, meanwhile is coming off of a first round submission win over Raphael Assuncao back in February.
Meanwhile, White provided the first real update on the flyweight division saying there will be a number one contender fight which very well could mean that the division is sticking around. Both Benavidez and Formiga deserve a shot at the title and will now have to fight each other to get that shot.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime