UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA) is gearing up for “The biggest fight of 2018”.
The 31-year-old product of Sonora, California is coming off an incredible second-round knockout victory over former teammate turned bitter rival Cody Garbrandt at November’s UFC 217 event in New York.
That victory earned Dillashaw back the promotions bantamweight strap, a title which he had previously held from May of 2014 until January of 2016 before suffering a controversial split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz.
Following his victory over “No Love”, Dillashaw proceeded to callout long-time UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson for a super-fight.
“Mighty Mouse” recently underwent successful shoulder surgery and will likely be out of action until at least April.
The news of Johnson’s surgery came as a surprise to many fans and analysts, but not to T.J. Dillashaw. The UFC bantamweight champion revealed that he was made aware of DJ’s surgery by the man himself in a recent interview with BJ Penn Radio.
“Oh, I kind of already knew a little bit. I was talking with him a little bit, what’s going on. He says it’s gonna be a somewhat speedy recovery. It’s not a full-blown, where he’s gonna be out for a year kind of shoulder surgery. He’s looking to get back, and yeah. Hopefully get back into action sooner rather than later.”
While a fight with Johnson is far from being finalized, Dillashaw indicated that preliminary talks are under way.
“I mean, nothing officially finalized, but definitely in the talks, that’s for sure. It’s a fight that needs to happen, a fight that wants to happen on multiple parties. Me, Demetrious, the UFC, the fans, it’s one that needs to happen, and yeah, it’s been in talks, that’s for sure.”
For Dillashaw, a fight with “Mighty Mouse” gives him the opportunity to prove that he is the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
“Absolutely man, this isn’t a money fight. I mean, this is a money fight, because of the skill. It’s who’s the best pound-for-pound. It’s not some bullshit hyped drama. This is what the sport is really about, it’s who is the best in the world. Demetrious got that number one spot. I feel like I’m the best fighter in the world, man, and I just want to prove it. DJ has my spot and I want to claim it. I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter. I had a couple split decision losses that I didn’t agree with it. If you throw those ones out of the way, I’d be on a 13 fight win streak, seven fight title defense. I’d be where I’m supposed to be, but this is the way for me to get to where I want to be. Demetrious is on top and it’s time for me to take him out.”
While Dillashaw has not competed at flyweight he is confident that he can make the weight with the help of his mad scientist.
“We’ll see, I can make it faster, but it’s all about how I’m gonna perform. I want to perform at my best, man. The new coach I’ve been working with, Sam Calavitta, down out of southern California, my strength and conditioning coach, my nutritionist, he’s the one that kind of gave me the numbers. He’s the one that told me, ‘Look, here’s where your body’s at now.’ I mean, this guy’s a mad scientist. He’s so good with how the body works and things that I need to do to be at my tip top shape.”
“I’m fighting Demetrious Johnson, the pound-for-pound best in the world to go, so if I’m gonna go out there and prove to them I’m the best fighter, I’ve gotta give myself my best chance and that’s to make the weight the right way, very scientifically and be on top of my game.”
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