Joseph Benavidez won’t deny he has a vested interest in what happens next with Henry Cejudo but that doesn’t deter the fact that he sees no reason for the flyweight champion to face T.J. Dillashaw a second time.
Last Saturday night, Cejudo made quick work of Dillashaw with a stunning 32-second knockout that cemented his flyweight title reign while dispatching the champion from the bantamweight division.
Immediately afterwards, Dillashaw called for a rematch for what he felt was an early stoppage and went as far as saying that he didn’t really lose the fight to Cejudo.
Benavidez, who is likely next in line for a shot at the flyweight title, disagrees with his former teammate, especially when seeing how many unanswered shots Dillashaw took before the referee finally stopped the fight.
“I have no problem with the stoppage at all,” Benavidez told MMAWeekly. “It was an early end. It wasn’t like it was the end of the round and he has to hang out 10 more seconds to see what happens. He was taking unanswered shots the whole fight. He tried to get up a few times and it didn’t work and it got worse every time he did get up and he couldn’t make it to his feet. I have no problem with it.
Cejudo has argued for a rematch against Dillashaw so he could move up to 135 pounds and have the same opportunity to become a two division champion.
That’s part of the problem that Benavidez had with this fight in the first place is that it puts two divisions on hold while Cejudo and Dillashaw duke it out again.
In the bantamweight division, Raphael Assuncao is about to face Marlon Moraes on Feb. 2 in a fight that should assuredly earn the winner a shot at the title.
Meanwhile, Benavidez has won his two fights in a row and he’s also the last fighter to hand Cejudo a defeat in his career.
All of that adds up to Dillashaw and Cejudo having enough competition in their own divisions to keep them busy rather than tying everybody up for the majority of 2019 while the face each other again.
“It was a great fight, a great matchup, entertainment all that aspect of it. But at the core of it, the fight didn’t make sense from the beginning. It didn’t make sense,” Benavidez explained. “The guys were wanting to be double champs and all this when they weren’t even being champs in their own weight classes. TJ had just really beaten Cody, who he got the belt from and Cejudo had just won the belt. They need to be champions in their own divisions first and foremost.
“The fight didn’t make sense in general, holding up both weight classes. It happened, we went through the whole charade of it happening. TJ did his weight cut, the anticipation built and it ended in 32 seconds. If it didn’t make sense the first time and you lose in 32 seconds, it 100-percent doesn’t make sense now.”