Dillashaw Aims At Mighty Mouse For a Superfight
When the option opened up for T.J. Dillashaw to fight the flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, following an injury to Cody Garbrandt, Johnson wasn’t interested in the fight.
Mighty Mouse preferred to set the record for consecutive UFC title defenses against fighters that were considered “true” 125-pounders, instead of Dillashaw, who had never competed at flyweight before.
Ultimately, the fight never happened and Dillashaw would get his fight with Garbrandt, and reclaim the bantamweight title.
In an interview ESPN, the current bantamweight champion wants to drop to 125 pounds to take Johnson’s title and ranking as pound-for-pound champ.
“I’m looking to come in and dethrone him from his legacy,” Dillashaw said. “He won’t be able to call himself the ‘GOAT’ anymore.
”It’s so easy for him to continue calling himself that and take the fights he thinks are a little easier. He’s a cerebral fighter. He and his coach are smart guys, and they know I bring the greatest threat. I think he knows that’s going to be a tough one for him to win.”
Dillashaw has been campaigning steadily for a superfight against Johnson since his title victory in November, and Dana White has suggested that the fight is “going to happen” in 2018 but no official movement has been made on the bout.
Even though nothing is remotely official, Dillashaw has already begun the process to prepare for a cut to flyweight, telling ESPN that it would take 16 weeks do it successfully. Dillashaw thinks a victory of Johnson will yield him the recognition that he believes he deserves.
”It’s frustrating because I believe I should be a lot higher [in the pound-for-pound ranking],” Dillashaw said.
“Couple split-decision losses I felt should have gone my way. That’s the way this sport is. I don’t lose to Cruz [in 2016], I’m up there for best in the world. It’s all meant to be. It’s going to end up leading to a great thing.”
”That’s what I’m hearing from fans and journalists. They believe me fighting Johnson is not only the most-hyped fight for 2018 but the most talented.”
Dillashaw argues, the level of opponent in the bantamweight division is far superior and he has been thriving there for his whole career, while Johnson’s division has been lacking . That, Dillashaw says, is why Johnson would struggle to beat him and why he thinks Johnson is avoiding him.
”On average, there’s just not those guys who are gonna bring everything. They’re not gonna bring the power to the table, they’re not gonna have the footwork, the cardio and the wrestling [I have]. I don’t have a gap that he can take advantage of.
“You see him manhandle guys and finish fights late in championship rounds, out-grapple and out-wrestle them, but that’s the thing, he’s not going to be able to do that to me, and I think that’s a scary thing to him. He doesn’t have something to fall back on. There’s not something he can continue to push to beat me.”