Henry Cejudo (14-2) added another big name to his resume this weekend when he emphatically knocked out TJ Dillashaw in only 32 seconds. Cejudo was looking to prove that his win former pound-for-pound star Demetrius Johnson was no fluke.
The match ended so quickly that it was hard to appreciate its significance. With the win Cejudo essentially saved the Flyweight division. After an impressive performance who could be next for the champion?
Let’s take a look at the best possible candidates for his next fight.
Joseph Benavidez (27-5) has a great opportunity in front of him. It seemed that he was destined to always come up second after losses to all-time fighters in Demetrius Johnson and Dominick Cruz. Following another loss to Sergio Pettis, “Beefcake” has since rebounded and now won two consecutive fights. He defeated Dustin Ortiz on the undercard of Cejudo’s title defense over Dillashaw.
When Cejudo defeated Johnson and took his Flyweight crown Benavidez’s eyes must have lit up. Benavidez defeated Cejudo in 2016 by a close split decision. He must feel as though he can win that fight again if they matched up. For Cejudo, he gets the chance to avenge his defeat while adding another all-time great scalp to his ledger.
Dillashaw (16-4) was completely wrecked this weekend.
However the stoppage was bit premature—even Dana White said as much. We have seen Dillashaw in far worse trouble before in fights. The difference is that in past fights he was given much more time to recover. It’s not that it was a horrible stoppage but the referee could have given him a bit more leeway.
Let’s run it back.
Dillashaw said he wants it back in the same weight class. Is that the smartest idea? Probably not but you have to respect his ambition to write this wrong.
The Flyweight division is extremely thin in terms on contenders. Outside of Benavidez you will have a hard time finding someone that truly deserves a shot at the title. Dillashaw has had a great career. He’s arguably the greatest Bantamweight of all-time. Although this is a different weight class he should still get another shot at Cejudo.
The chapter between Cejudo and Dillashaw seems like its only just beginning.
Photo: Anthony J. Causi