Despite the UFC trying to put together a rematch with Cody Garbrandt for the bantamweight title to save UFC 222, TJ Dillashaw has his eyes on the long-hyped superfight with UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Other than Johnson himself saying it is in negotiations, not much else has been said publicly about the scrap. Along with giving the reasons why Garbrandt doesn’t deserve a shot, Dillashaw also spoke on Monday that all roads seem to still point to the match-up to go ahead and slide in that co-main even slot for UFC 226.
“I haven’t really heard much in the sense of [the fight with Demetrious Johnson being official]. They’re just telling me to get healthy, so obviously I’ve been doing some physical therapy and working on getting healthy and staying ready, and yeah, continuing to watch my body [composition], staying low [in weight] if this thing really happens. They know I want it. Demetrious wants it. He’s talking about how he wants to be on a big card; there’s a perfectly big card for it now coming up in July. They got Stipe [Miocic] and [Daniel] Cormier [headlining UFC 226], so all of the stars seem to be aligning. It’s just all about getting it done now.”
— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) February 3, 2018
“Normally waking up at 154 pounds in the morning when I’m fighting at 135. As of now, I’m waking up at 147. I’m lean and in shape. […] [I’m dealing with] some injuries, but other than that, I feel great about it. It’s something that, when I was told the first time I was fighting Demetrious, like I said, I was waking up at 140 pounds. That’s only a little cut for me, so I’m feeling great about it. I’m a small ‘35er as is. I don’t cut much weight to make 135. Like I said, I put the weight on to cut it, so it’s something that I’m excited to do. I’m excited to see the transformation. What it really comes down to is that I believe I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and to do that, I need to beat the best. And I can make his weight class.” — TJ Dillashaw speaking to The MMA Hour.
This news came just a day before the word that Henry Cejudo is actually in talks to fight Demetrious Johnson next. Whether this is true or not or a bargaining chip, it gives insight to just how these negotiations are going. TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson both are holding out for a big card in order to maximize their profits. Which makes sense. A superfight deserves super pay. Although, Johnson has not been shy at all in saying that if they don’t get what they want, then he has no problem just defending the flyweight belt against his list of ever-repeating contenders.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/21/2018.