Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) talents TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo battled for the Flyweight crown last night (Sat., Jan. 19, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 143 inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The UFC’s new, earnest desire for super fights and double champs started 2019 off with an admittedly excellent match up. In one corner, collegiate wrestler and kickboxing specialist Dillashaw, an incredibly exciting fighter to watch who only recently retook control of his division. Opposite him was “The Messenger,” the most decorated wrestler in the sport, a man who captured the belt in 2017 by upsetting the sport’s most dominant champion. Furthermore, the result of this fight had a direct influence on the Flyweight division’s future.
There was a lot on the line in Brooklyn.
Miraculously, Cejudo lived up to the pressure put on him. The Olympian walked straight to his larger opponent, immediately belting him in the belly with a hard kick. From his Karate stance, Cejudo advanced, while Dillashaw switched his footing around and looked to throw in combination. Instead, Cejudo’s right hand slipped in behind the ear, causing Dillashaw to lose his balance and fall back.
Cejudo swarmed with some seriously accurate ground strikes, continuing to whack Dillashaw’s jaw as he hung onto a takedown attempt. Dillashaw returned to his feet briefly, only to be put back down by more punches. There would be no second return to his feet for the Bantamweight champion, as the referee stopped the bout when Cejudo began to land ground strikes a second time.
The whole thing barely lasted 30 seconds.
This was equal parts disaster for Dillashaw, incredible for the champion. It’s a remarkably bad look for Dillashaw. This is a man who repeatedly talked about how he would walk through Cejudo, how it wasn’t a challenge for him, and how he would fight Max Holloway for the Featherweight crown next. That’s a lot of talk to get put down twice in the first 30 seconds.
Even aside from all that, it’s a miserable result for Dillashaw. Ignore all the interview quotes about the science and how easy it was to make 125 lbs. — that was a brutal, 12 week weight cut that Dillashaw will remember as a bad period of life for a long time to come. Dillashaw was forced to work extremely hard and remain almost inhumanly dedicated to make the weight; the payoff was a knockout loss.
It’s a momentous win for the Flyweight champion, who really helped guarantee his division’s immediate future. Aside from that, beating Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw back-to-back? History won’t remember the arguments of “it was a bad decision!” or “Early stoppage!” Instead, it will see Cejudo taking victories over the two best of the absolute best lighter weight fighters of his era.
It’s time for a title rematch with Joseph Benavidez.
At UFC on ESPN+ 1, Henry Cejudo flattened his challenger in short fashion. What’s next for the Olympian?
For complete UFC Fight Night 143 “Dillasahw vs. Cejudo” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
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