TJ Dillashaw Wants To Make Demetrious Johnson Fight Official, But Says ‘He’s Running’
There’s a super fight brewing between the UFC’s bantamweight and flyweight champions, but TJ Dillashaw says he’s far keener than Demetrious Johnson to make the fight happen.
Dillashaw spoke to MMAJunkie Radio yesterday about the fight and he gave an update on the negotiations. He made it very clear that he wants to get the fight made official as soon as possible and that it was Johnson holding things up.
“I feel the longer it goes, it [more] values my point, but there’s so much more to the story you know,” Dillashaw said. “It’s not that there was a possibility of us fighting, it was, because he wanted a bigger. He wanted to start selling pay-per-views, he wanted a bigger name than Ray Borg and they were telling him that they don’t have anybody. Three weeks later, Cody drops out of the fight and I offer to fight him and it’s a big deal and it’s going to make big pay-per-view numbers and they come to him with it and he’s like ‘Nah, I’ve changed my mind. I want Ray Borg, he’s the one that deserves the title shot.
“If he would’ve came out and said everything he was saying to the UFC in the media and [then] reversed it, it would’ve been a little more relevant of how he was running, but for him to say what he said and then try and make them look like liars, yeah, he’s been running. Hopefully it’s not really going to hold this thing up and he’s going to get paid in the right way, but that’s the goal for me in 2018.”
When asked if UFC 222 on March 3 was a goal, Dillashaw stated that it wasn’t and that he would need more time to prepare. The UFC bantamweight champion went on to say that he’s going to get down to 125-pounds the right way and that he would be working with his coaches to make sure it was a smooth ride down to flyweight championship weight.
“From where me and my coach have got it down, we need at least 16 weeks to make weight the right way,” Dillashaw said. “I can’t just go and change my body if I’m not going to 125. I’m going to stick to where I’m at right now, but once we get the word and it’s official then I need 15-18 weeks to make the weight correctly.
“I’m not going to crash diet. I want to go out there and be my best self and I’m going to need the time. I’m going to need the right diet and I’m going to do it the right way.”
With fans growing tired at other divisions being held up by non-defending champions, Dillashaw refuted the claim that this super-fight with Johnson would be bad for the 135-pounds weight class. Instead, Dillashaw pointed at Dominick Cruz being unable to stay fit and said that the time he spends gunning for the 125-pounds belt will give another fighter the opportunity to cement themselves as the number one contender.
“I think it’s the biggest fight that can happen in the year for myself,” Dillashaw said. “I’m going to be selfish here for myself, but as well with my weight class, these guys are making a rise and they’re making a name for themselves, but which one do you give it to? Why not make them fight off for the spot. It’s not like one of them is completely chosen to take the fight. I would’ve loved for it to have been Dominick Cruz, but he didn’t fight, he got hurt.
“That would’ve been a great fight for me to get back and it’s one I definitely want to get back, but the guy can’t stay healthy and he’s not fought since he lost the belt, so, since that happened, it’s given me even more of a reason to fight Johnson. I feel like Cruz would’ve been that guy. I would’ve been [able to] avenge a loss that wasn’t deserving. It had a great storyline and he’s a great fighter, but I think these other guys are still making their way up. It’s almost like the semi-finals for them.”