Earlier this year, rumors of a possible Demetrious Johnson vs. TJ Dillashaw superfight were rampant. More recently, however, the buzz surrounding this potential fight has quieted down.
Luckily, it sounds like the fight is still very possible in the near future. On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, the flyweight champ Johnson reaffirmed that this is still the fight he wants.
“That’s the fight that I want,” he said. “That’s the fight that I believe… it should go down. Obviously, the UFC knows what I want. The biggest thing that I’ve been focusing on his letting Malki and Abe [Kawa], First Round Management, handle that stuff. I think they’re great managers, and I told them what I want, and they’re like ‘ok, we’re going to be talking to the UFC.’ I think the talks with Malki and those guys have kind of gone dormant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling Malki like ‘hey Malki, what’s going… Hey Malki, hey… you hear anything?’ I’ve come to the point where they know what’s going on, and they’re like ‘ok DJ, we’ll let you know when things are happening.’ Last time we talked about it was about maybe six weeks ago I think, he says ‘we’re trying to shoot for July, International Fight Week, and we’ll go from there.'”
“As far as I know, that’s where it’s at.”
Of course, TJ Dillashaw isn’t the only possible opponent that’s been recently been discussed for Mighty Mouse. Rumors have also recently suggested he could rematch Henry Cejudo, who he dominated to a first-round TKO in 2016. Despite the decisive nature of their first encounter, Johnson is up for this fight too.
“This is the thing people don’t understand. At the end of the day, it’s a pay check,” he said.
“I will never turn down the true number-one contender in my division, because the UFC can actually strip me,” he added. “They can actually [say] ‘ok, you’re not going to fight the number-one contender, we’re going to strip you.’ So if they’re like ‘hey, you know what, Henry Cejudo is the number-one contender, we deem him the legit number-one contender,’ I can’t be like ‘I’m not going to fight him again, blah blah blah.’ My duty as the champion of my division of 125 pound-weight class is to fight the number-one contender. I will fight him.”
Who do you want to see Demetrious Johnson fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/12/2018.