After reclaiming his UFC bantamweight title from Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217, TJ Dillashaw only has his sights set on one fighter: Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson. He’s arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter right now, a dominant flyweight champion, and has just broken Anderson Silva’s title-defense record with a move out of a comic book. A fight like this could be one of the most elite MMA fights of all time. It’s a no brainer that Dillashaw wants to make the fight happen, especially since it was in the works before Johnson’s last defense against Ray Borg. Coach and MMA legend Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig recently opened up more about the potential fight.
“We were en route to fight Demetrious [Johnson] at one point and the direction he was taking with his strength and conditioning coach, TJ [Dillashaw] was looking phenomenal on the mitts and the sparring and the training and he looked good, his spirits were good. So, obviously we didn’t make 125 and fight and compete, but when were were en route of that, nothing really changed. TJ’s not a big ‘35er, so he can make ‘25. It’s not going to be easy, but he’s the most dedicated person that I’ve ever seen. He really is. I think it needs to happen.”
— TJ Dillashaw (@TJDillashaw) September 8, 2017
“Demetrious, he’s fighting the top guys — this works out because [Joseph] Benavidez is out right now, he’s still having to wait a couple of months with his knee surgery, so it works out time-wise, so in my eyes I would like to see TJ drop down, fight Demetrious, and then go back to ‘35. There are some areas that we could capitalize on, that’s for sure. But I’m not going to necessarily say that he’s weak in any one area, because he’s really not. He’s great everywhere. This is a tough challenge, but TJ could beat him. I just think he’s on another level like TJ’s on another level, they’re both on another level compared to the people in their weight class, he just really is.” — Duane Ludwig on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
Demetrious Johnson has cleared out his division so much that he’s lapping it over again. Fans, media and even fellow fights have said for years that the only tests for Mighty Mouse may only exist at a higher weight. It has been six years since his last loss, which just so happened to be the last time he fought at bantamweight. However, TJ Dillashaw would be going down to meet the champ in his own weight class for the superfight and intends on defending both titles should he manage to defeat Johnson.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/17/2017.