Garbrandt Wants Mighty Mouse After Dillashaw
The biggest problem for flyweight champion and #1 pound-for-pound fighter Demetrious Johnson has been finding opponents to challenge him. Johnson is on the brink of setting the record for consecutive UFC title defenses, but recently an interesting name called him out: bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt.
In an appearance on the Aubrey Marcus podcast, Garbrandt spoke about his upcoming first title defense against bitter rival and former champion T.J. Dillashaw. If he gets past Dillashaw, though, Garbrandt has his sights set on dropping down to flyweight to give the sport’s most dominant champion a true challenge.
"Now, Demetrious, he’s the pound-for-pound best – justifiably so, an incredible fighter, great human," Garbrandt said. "I like him a lot. And his family. But for me, it’s a legacy that I set out to build. Friendships are friendships but it’s business at the end of the day and I think that I can go on as a huge fight, especially for that division. It’s kind of lackluster a lot."
Since "Mighty Mouse" has mostly cleared out the 125 lb. division, many have called for him to move up to bantamweight to test himself in a champion vs. champion super-fight. When Dominick Cruz was the 135 lb. king, there was significant hype surrounding a rematch between Cruz and Johnson. But now that Garbrandt has knocked Cruz off the top spot of the division, he says he would rather move down then have Johnson enter his division, because he wants the distinction of winning a second belt.
“I’d rather go down before I go up. Demetrious has a fight with Wilson Reis in the not-too-distant future. That’s coming up, so he’ll tie Anderson Silva’s record. Then his next fight will be the all-time record. So he has all that. . . [I want to] make him earn it.
"I think that’s something that I need to do. I’m young – 25 – so rather than cut when I’m older, try to go down, go now. The time is now for me with that fight. I really think that should be – after the TJ fight of course – if Dominick [Cruz], I think he’s not coming. I’ll wait and see if Dominick wants to come back. If not, I’m willing to go after Demetrious. That’s the fight that’s next in my mind after TJ. I always plan one ahead. I’m prepared for TJ but Demetrious is in the foreshadows.”
Before Garbrandt can look to conquer a second division, he will have a huge test in the form of Dillashaw, his ex-teammate and the rival coach on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. If he defeats Dillashaw in their bout, which is targeted for July, then we may have another champion vs. champion fight on the horizon.