T.J. Dillashaw has had a few days to digest what happened to him Saturday night in the main event of UFC Brooklyn and he is still thinking rematch.
The reigning UFC men’s bantamweight titleholder made his flyweight debut Saturday against fellow champion Henry Cejudo but fell short, losing in just 32 seconds thanks to a blitzkrieg attack from Cejudo and a controversial referee stoppage.
Dillashaw was dropped early by a Cejudo right hand and was swarmed by the 2008 Olympic gold medallist in freestyle wrestling. Dillashaw never lost consciousness and appeared to be intelligently defending himself yet the referee determined his safety was at risk and called a halt to the action.
UFC president Dana White described it as a “horrible stoppage” and Dillashaw concurred.
“I worked my butt off. I’m so much better than that. It would be nice to actually get the chance to show it,” Dillashaw told reporters at the post-fight media availability at Barclays Center. “It’s a title fight, it’s a champ versus champ fight and you’re gonna stop the fight like that? I’m on a single leg. He says, ‘Show me something.’ I said, ‘I’m OK.’ I’m on a single leg in a scramble, he stops punching, he’s defending a single leg and you’re gonna stop the fight? It’s just ridiculous, man. It’s pretty pathetic that I have better knowledge than that ref.”
Dillashaw continued: “How could you be that [expletive] happy over that win? Obviously, he did not lose his belt, he’s gonna feed his family, pay his bills. Good for him. Be happy, yes. But I wouldn’t be happy winning that way, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t call myself the champ champ, I wouldn’t call myself the double champ winning that way.”
Cejudo’s coach, Eric Albarracin, believes the stoppage was a good thing for Dillashaw.
“Obviously anything could’ve went a little bit longer, but I think the result might’ve been the same, would’ve been the same, probably just more damage on him,” Albarracin told The MMA Hour. “Henry was hurting him.”
Dillashaw doubled down during a Monday appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, saying he wants to have a rematch under identical conditions at 125 pounds but is also open to a rematch taking place in his natural 135-pound weight class.
“I’ll take the fight wherever,” Dillashaw told Helwani. “I’m open to whatever because that’s the situation I’m in but if it was up to me, I would fight him tomorrow at 125. I’ll make the weight tomorrow, I don’t even care. I want that fight. I want to prove the work I put in and the science behind my weight cut and everything that I’ve done is there. I put in a ton of work and just want to be able to show it. I want that right to live and die by the sword.”