Saturday marks the anticipated debut of UFC’s 2019 partnership with ESPN, which will carry UFC Fight Night 143 from Brooklyn, andpits champion vs. champion in Henry Cujedo and TJ Dillashaw.
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After Thursday’s press conference for the Barclays Center showcase, it’s already a good bet that Cejudo and Dillashaw’s bout will be far more intense than any promotions for the fight.
Combat sports have a knack for bringing out the bizarre at weigh-ins and other pre-fight events, but you’re going to struggle to find a more awkward confrontation than what occurred at Thursday’s press conference between the current flyweight champion and reigning bantamweight champ.
Dillashaw, as is well documented, has embraced a “snake” moniker ever since Conor McGregor deemed him a “snake in the grass” during “The Ultimate Fighter.” So after telling TMZ he’s going to “behead that snake” and bragging to other reporters it’s “the year to skin the snake,” Cujedo took things a step further Thursday, taking the conference stage with a life-sized fake snake, then whipping it against the ground, inspecting it as if to confirm its death and tossing it into the crowd — all in front of an emotionless Dillashaw.