Until recently, former UFC bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw was expected to challenge reigning champ and former teammate Cody Garbrandt for gold at UFC 213 this July 8. Regrettably, Garbrandt has been forced out of this planned title fight with back trouble, which has left Dillashaw without a chance to fight for gold.
While the simplest option for Dillashaw would seem to be to wait for Garbrandt to recover, he’s got another plan. The talented bantamweight has recently been campaigning for a shot at Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who rules the flyweight division 10 pounds south of bantamweight.
While this prospective showdown has may fans very excited, some have questioned whether or not the musclebound Dillashaw can safely make the flyweight division’s 125-pound cap. According to Dillashaw’s coach Duane Ludwig, however, it shouldn’t be a problem so long as Dillashaw and his team are given enough to time to prepare.
“If there’s any time for TJ to drop down to 125, the sooner the better,” Ludwig told host Kinch on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio . “He won’t be able to make ’25 as the years go on and he matures and gets bigger. If there’s any time to do it, it’s now.”
Ludwig then explained that Dillashaw will lean on the expertise of strength and conditioning coach Sam Calavitta to make it down to 125. Should they make the weight and claim flyweight gold, the plan will then be to return to bantamweight and attempt to reclaim that belt.
“He’s working with Sam Calavitta, who is a really good strength and conditioning coach who also has the dieting down,” he said. “So it’s working out well that we do fight Demetrious. We split up the camp to a month later [in August] and have more time to work with Sam Calavitta and get the weight down, get nice and strong at belt weight, get the belt, pop back up to 135 and get that belt either later in the year or next year.”
Do you think think TJ Dillashaw can win belts in two weight classes?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/25/2017.