Having reclaimed the UFC bantamweight title with a second-round knockout of Cody Garbrandt, TJ Dillashaw is now hell-bent on a flyweight title fight with dominant divisional king Demetrious Johnson – perhaps the best fighter alive today.
“Demetrious can’t run from this one,” Dillashaw said shortly after he defeated Garbrandt to reclaim the bantamweight title. “This one’s too big. (Johnson) broke his (title-defense) record. He got to pad himself and break his record. Now, let’s make some money.”
“(Johnson is) talking about how he wants those seven-figure fights – well, this is it,” the new champ continued at the UFC 217 post-fight press conference. “Step up, be a man of your word, and let’s get this fight going.”
While this fight is far from official, the early odds for it have now been released by the sportsbook Bovada. In a rather unsurprising twist, Demetrious Johnson has been pegged as the favorite – but not by a particularly massive margin.
Check out the odds below (via MMAFighting.com):
Demetrious Johnson vs. T.J. Dillashaw
Demetrious Johnson -200 (1/2)
T.J. Dillashaw +160 (8/5)
*Both must fight for action. Must fight in 2018 for action.
While Dillashaw is definitely a bulky bantamweight, he has repeatedly assured he could adjust his diet and training regimen to reach the flyweight division’s 125-pound limit.
“The reason why I look so lean at 135 is the way I work,” Dillashaw said. “I put muscle on to be at 135. I’m not a big (bantamweight). I walk around at 150, but I stack on, and I stay lean. I kept my diet since ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ I’ve been on a new diet with a new strength and conditioning coach, and he keeps the muscle on me, because that’s what I need.
“When I go to (flyweight), we’re going to have to lean that down. It is a lifestyle change.”
Are you interested in a fight between Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/11/2017.