T.J. Dillashaw on Why it Would be “Very Dumb” For Henry Cejudo to Not Fight Joseph Benavidez
Dana White has said that Henry Cejudo should defend the flyweight title against Joseph Benavidez next, and T.J. Dillashaw's taken it up a notch by saying it would be "dumb" of the champ if he doesn't.
So far, Henry Cejudo hasn’t outright said he’ll face Joseph Benavidez when he returns to the cage next year. But, according to T.J. Dillashaw, if the decorated wrestler doesn’t, it would be a “very dumb” move.
Cejudo’s comments about defending the 135 title
After Cejudo won the bantamweight title in June, by taking out Marlon Moraes at UFC 238, he was quick to call for fights with notable 135’ers like Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt. More recently the champ-champ has expressed an interest in defending the 135 title against Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar.
But, since Cejudo hasn’t defended the flyweight title since January, when he quickly put away Dillashaw, many have argued he should fight at 125 next. Especially since Joseph Benavidez has won three straight, and because he has a 2016, decision win over Cejudo. UFC President Dana White has also said that Cejudo needs to defend the 125 belt against Benavidez.
“I think it would be very dumb for Cejudo not to fight Joseph Benavidez,” Dillashaw said. “That’s his last loss, that’s a fight that he has to make up. I think Joseph Benavidez has a great threat against him as well. I think that’s the fight that needs to happen, and he can’t be calling himself ‘Triple C’ no more if he’s going to be giving up a belt. So he needs to go down there and get it done and fight Joseph Benavidez. I think that’s the next fight for him. It makes the most sense. It’s the biggest draw. It’s a fight that was close, but Joseph did edge that fight out.”
Ya. Not only should Cejudo defend the 125 belt next because of the timing, and because Benavidez defeated him and deserves a shot, Dillashaw makes a good point about the “triple C” component. The big question is, however, does Cejudo plan to defend the flyweight belt? In recent months, he hasn’t sounded overly interested in making the cut to 125 again.
This aside, when asked if he would be friendly to Cejudo, next time he sees him, Dillashaw said this:
“Probably not,” Dillashaw said. “I definitely have some animosity towards myself, towards the sport, towards just everything. So it’s probably one of those things where I definitely wouldn’t say hello.
“I have some enemies that are definitely going to stay my enemies for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t say it’s because he is a sh*t talker, it’s more just the way he carries himself…”
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Dillashaw is currently serving a two-year suspension he was handed earlier this year, after testing positive for the banned substance EPO.