Since the stunning exit of former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson took place via the groundbreaking trade between the UFC and One Championship several weeks ago, rumors began to float around, that the UFC is intending on closing down its 125-pound division permanently by next Spring.
Several UFC flyweights have confirmed this rumor announcing that they had been released by the organization, mostly due to the division’s impending removal.
UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has come out and provided complete confirmation of these reports.
When speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN, Dillashaw told Helwani for his upcoming UFC flyweight title clash with Henry Cejudo at UFC 233, he’s been appointed as somewhat of a hired assassin to kill off the UFC’s 125-pound division.
“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.
“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.”
While it may seem that this may indeed be the direction the UFC is headed in ridding the 125 pound division from the company for good, nothing has been deemed official just yet if that is the exact plan.
This past weekend UFC president Dana White even suggested, the organization is currently working on some things right now within its flyweight division.
And even though TJ Dillashaw didn’t directly state what those particular things were, as far as he’s concerned, it’s all too clear if he’s able to defeat Cejudo on January 26th.
“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.”
For Dillashaw, this has been a long time coming as he’s been yearning for a shot at the UFC flyweight belt since 2017, unfortunately an injury had forced then UFC 135 pound champion Cody Garbrandt to withdraw of their originally scheduled title bout.
Instead of waiting on Garbrandt to recover, Dillashaw wanted a crack at then UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who at the time was not too fond of fighting an opponent who had never made 125 pounds.
Ultimately however, that fight never transpired, but the idea was still kept relevant.
Then once Henry Cejudo shocked the whole MMA world when he upset Johnson at UFC 227, the idea gained even more traction.
Now that the fight has been signed officially for UFC 233, Dillashaw claims he will make 125 pounds, and add to his legacy by becoming the last UFC flyweight champion.
“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.”