A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to talk to Duane Ludwig, T.J. Dillashaw’s main coach. Among other things, Duane spoke about his vision for Dillashaw’s near future.
Since August, after the second time Dillashaw knocked out Garbrandt, Duane had it all figured out. The next step was Cejudo -who won the 125-pound belt the same night Dillashaw defended his. After Henry, then back up to the bantamweight division to defend the belt. That plan may finally be in motion, but with a small twist they might not like.
On Tuesday the UFC oficially announced the date and place for UFC 233. The first PPV of 2019 will take place on January 26 in Los Angeles, California. Although no bouts have oficially been announced, rumor has it Cejudo and Dillashaw will be chosen. So far everything seems to fit Duane’s plan:
“Go for the 125-pound title, whoever is wearing it. It is Cejudo right now but the goal isn’t the opponent as much as the goal. The goal is to get the 125-pound title, add that to the resume and then in an ideal situation have Cruz and Moraes fight. The winner of that should be in title contention. That’s what I feel would be the better path for him and martial arts wise. And entertainment wise as well, build up the 135-pound division with Cruz and Moraes. Plus Cruz should have a fight to earn his way back. It took T.J. what, three or four fights to get his title back? So, other than that nonsense, that’s what I can see happen. Go down to 125 and get that title, go back to 135 and fight the winner of Cruz vs. Moraes.”
However, the departure of Demetrious Johnson may have deeper repercussions than expected. Since last year there was speculation regarding the potential elimination of the flyweight division. That uncertainty would increase if rumors surrounding the Cejudo-Dillashaw are true. Sources say the title on the line for that fight would be Dillashaw’s (135 pounds) instead of Cejudo’s (125 pounds).