TJ Dillashaw fights with Cody Garbrandt during their UFC bantamweight title fight, which Dillashaw won. Photo: Frank Franklin II/AP

CAPE TOWN – “Henry Cejudo made his biggest mistake calling me out after his last fight.”

These were the words of UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who will drop a weight division in his quest to become one of the greatest fighters on the planet.

After shocking the world with a title win over Demetrious Johnson, flyweight champion Cejudo called out Dillashaw in a fight that will be aired live on SuperSport on Sunday at Fight Night in Brooklyn, New York.

“I never back down from a challenge and I accepted it with open arms,” said Dillashaw, who could join an elite group of fighters including Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes and Daniel Cormier should he get the W on the night, ultimately declaring him the ‘Champ Champ’ (flyweight and bantamweight) of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

“He won’t defend his belt, just like Cody Garbrandt. I am going to run through him. I will be the last flyweight champion ever,” said Dillashaw.

Late last year, following a long rivalry between former friends and gym partners, Dillashaw put to bed the questions about his current superiority over Garbrandt after beating him for the second time in nine months at Staples Centre to confirm his reign over the bantamweight division.

Those were the only two occasions in which Garbrandt had the opportunity to defend his belt after claiming it initially in a dominant fight against Dominick Cruz.

Dillashaw brings everything you want to the octagon, sublime leg artillery, crisp punching, and high-level grappling, but what is most impressive about the champion is the way he moves like a butterfly on the canvas, always keeping his opponent guessing.

Cejudo, on the other hand, is a champion wrestler. At 21, he became the youngest Olympic gold medallist in US wrestling history.

He too boasts a strong boxing and ground game, but he will be able to handle the movement and speed of Dillashaw?

“He is not going to outlast my cardio, I am going to finish TJ in spectacular fashion,” said Cejudo.

“Champions never go down and win belts, they go up and win belts. I am going to make TJ pay for every pound he drops. Henry is going to put it on him. I know I can break TJ, especially at flyweight,” said the current flyweight champion.

Added UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier: “TJ is maybe the best UFC bantamweight of all time, but he is dropping an extra 10 pounds, trying to become a two-division champion.”

Fight Card

Co-main event: Greg Hardy v Allen Crowder

Lightweight: Gregor Gillespie v Yancy Medeiros

Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez v Dustin Ortiz

Women’s Flyweight: Paige VanZant v Rachael Ostovich

Light-heavyweight: Glover Teixeira v Karl Roberson

TV: SS6A/SS11/Max2 from 5am on Sunday.

@juliankiewietz


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