Watch UFC Fight Night 143 Live and Exclusive on Sunday, 20th January 2019 at 8.30 am (IST) on SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD channels
January 18, 2019: In 2018, the UFC crowned two champ-champs, as Daniel Cormier and Amanda Nunes each moved up a weight class and claimed a second belt. This weekend, 135-pound king T.J. Dillashaw will move down in weight to challenge Henry Cejudo for the Flyweight Title. For the first time, a UFC fighter will move down in weight for a shot to become a simultaneous two-division champion. The Co-Main event will see a former NFL player, Greg Hardy make his debut inside the Octagon this weekend.
Flyweight Title Bout – Henry Cejudo vs T J Dillashaw
In the latest champion versus champion showdown, flyweight king Henry Cejudo will put his title on the line against TJ Dillashaw, who moves down from 135 pounds for the opportunity to win a second belt.
Henry Cejudo: Henry ‘The Messenger’ Cejudo, an Olympic gold medallist in wrestling is coming off a career-defining win by dethroning former champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227 back in August of 2018. “The Messenger”, has won three fights in a row while growing in stature each time he gets inside the Octagon. Henry Cejudo holds a slight grappling advantage over his opponent along with powerful wrestling abilities. To make his first successful title defence, Cejudo will have to beat one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport when he takes on TJ Dillashaw this weekend. In the build-up to this much anticipated fight “The Messenger” says, “A true UFC division champion never goes down a division to win a belt, champions go up and win the belt. I am going to make TJ Dillashaw pay for every inch of pound he has lost. I am out here to finish TJ Dillashaw and make a statement and make Flyweight division great again.”
T.J. Dillashaw : T.J. Dillashaw steps down a weight class to take on flyweight champion Henry Cejudo for the 125-pound title. An elite Bantamweight for several years and now legacy-chasing TJ Dillashaw aims to be the best and not just UFC’s next double-division champion. He enters the contest with back-to-back knockout wins over former champion Cody Garbrandt. Dillashaw has a big spotlight on him after he cut down to 125 pounds to fight in the flyweight division. According to UFC champion and analyst Daniel Cormier “TJ Dillashaw is the best UFC bantamweight of all time but going down one division to be a two-division champion seems a bit unreal”
Both fighters went down against their respective opponents last August at UFC 227, so two champs have virtually been on a collision course with one another for the past five months. It all comes to a head this weekend in Brooklyn.
Heavyweight Bout – Greg Hardy vs Allen Crowder
Greg Hardy: MMA fighter Greg Hardy is a former American Football player who was in the news for all of the wrong reasons in the recent years. Charges of domestic violence and a raft of media attention has not deterred the 265-pound 30-year old from his goal of making a big name for himself in mixed martial arts. He will make his UFC debut after just three professional fights while amassing a 3-0 record with all his wins coming by way of first-round knockout. As a natural athlete, Hardy has all the tools to become a top-flight heavyweight but he is yet to be tested on the canvas and hasn’t had a long fight to test his stamina.
UAllen Crowder, who didn’t fight at all in 2018, will return to the Octagon against a controversial figure this weekend. Allen Crowder enters this fight with a 9-3 record and has won 56 percent of his fights by knockout. Although he is facing a controversial opponent known for the best knockouts, Allen thinks, “In the heavyweight division, you have to worry about anyone knocking you out. If you make a mistake you are going to pay for it. You always have to worry about that knockout power. I don’t plan on letting him get that knockout shot. I will enter this fight with a game plan and I have a pretty good game plan in mind.”
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