For a time, it looked as though Demetrious Johnson’s next flyweight title challenger would come in the form of a slimmed down bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw. Unfortunately, the UFC couldn’t lock this fight down. Dillashaw was booked to defend his title against Cody Garbrandt, and Johnson was booked to defend his title against Henry Cejudo — both at UFC 227 this weekend.
While this Johnson vs. Dillashaw fight didn’t work out on the first try, Johnson says it’s an opportunity he’s still up for — so long as the UFC makes it worth his while.
“If the money’s right, I’ve always been up front in talking about these super fights,” Johnson said on the UFC 227 conference call (via MMA Fighting). “Everyone keeps talking about these super fights. If the money’s not there, if the compensation’s not there, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. That’s up to my management if that happens. My management knows what I want, the UFC knows what I want, so for me, I show up to fight the number-one contender in the flyweight division and I’ll continue to do that. So, who knows, if something comes to the table I’ll do it.”
Dillashaw then explained that, based on his understanding, it wasn’t money that nixed this super fight plan the first time around.
“When they offered it to me, I accepted it, I got injured, and I got the surgery,” Johnson said. “And then, when it came time again, from my understanding, from my management’s standpoint, is that TJ got an offer to fight Cody with a brand-new deal. So god bless him for taking the new deal to fight Cody. … Basically, before I got injured, I was going to be fighting him, and then they moved on, and they went to Cody and TJ.”
Do you think we’ll see Demetrious Johnson defend his title against the winner of Dillashaw and Garbrandt’s rematch?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/1/2018.