It took TJ Dillashaw nearly two years to fight for the UFC bantamweight title after losing a close split decision to Dominick Cruz at UFC Fight Night 81.
Even after the very close and competitive title fight against Cruz that took place in January 2016, there was no immediate rematch for Dillashaw who had successfully defended the title twice before meeting Cruz in the Octagon.
Given his circumstances and the way he had to earn his way back to another title shot, Dillashaw sees the same thing happening for Garbrandt.
“He definitely doesn’t deserve a rematch,” Dillashaw told FloCombat. “He never actually defended his belt. In my mind, you’re not even really a champion until you defend your belt. He never ever once defended it, and he got knocked out in the second round. I lost a split decision against [Dominick] Cruz when the owners of the UFC told me they thought I won the fight. You tell me how that makes sense. No, he’s going to have to build his way back up.”
“He is good enough [to earn another title shot], but he does have holes in his game and I think I’ve proved that now. I also don’t believe he has a chin. I think a lot of people are scared of his power, and there are some guys in the weight class that can hang with [him]. It’s going to be a tough road. He’s definitely good enough to do it, but it’s going to be tough.”
Dillashaw added that he would have preferred if he had taken the fight into the deeper rounds and got the finish in the fifth round to prove his skills are superior to Garbrandt’s. Perhaps if the two former teammates meet again in the future we will get to see the two go at it for a few more rounds.
With TJ Dillashaw’s target firmly set on UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, Dillashaw is looking to get the champion vs. champion fight he has been campaigning for.
“I’m coming for Demetrious Johnson,” Dillashaw stated. “It’s the fight that makes sense right now. It’s the fight that the fans want to see. It’s the fight the UFC wants right now. It’s the fight Demetrious needs.
“He wants to be known as the real pound-for-pound [best], then he’s got to step up and take this thing.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/27/2017.