Mighty Mouse Would Fight Dillashaw On A “Stacked” Card
From the moment he regained the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 217, T.J. Dillashaw has made it his goal to fight flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. While Dillashaw has made this very clear, Johnson made it a point to show his disinterest in the fight, that is until this week.
Speaking recently with ESPN, Johnson explained that he was ready to fight Dillashaw but he wanted to do it on a “stacked” card, one that would be sure to draw in large PPV numbers and guarantee a big payday for the all-time great.
“It’s the superfight everyone wants,” said Johnson. “I think TJ and I are both on board. We just want to make sure it’s on a stacked card. We want to make sure we can benefit from a good pay-per-view buy. I think I deserve it, and I think he deserves it.
“I’d rather have somebody else main event, [someone] who is going to bring in way more PPVs. In my opinion, that’s held up the fight on my end. I’ve seen guys jump on [stacked] PPV cards and make $1.5 million, fighting an inferior opponent than who I’m about to fight. Me and TJ could fight on a smaller card and pull 275,000 buys, get an extra check for $75,000. My management told me, ‘You know what, we’ll hold out for a big event.’”
”A lot of media and fans think that’s a way of turning down fights or ducking someone, but that’s a way of being a smart businessman and getting the most money you can get. … I’ll wait for that opportunity, because in that one card, I’ll basically make more money than three fights — a year and a half of my life — [combined].”
Johnson is the longest reigning champion in UFC history, but mainstream stardom has eluded him during his illustrious career. His most recent PPV outing only drew in a reported 120,000 buys and his lack of stardom and the monetary compensation that goes with that has been a sticking point between him and the UFC for some time now. But inclusion on a UFC supercard with multiple title fights on it, like the PPV for International Fight Week this summer figures to be, that would make everything alright for “Mighty Mouse.”
“If we can get three title fights – a champions vs. champions edition – that should do well,” Johnson said.
“If they did Georges St-Pierre vs. Tyron Woodley, Amanda Nunes vs. [Cris] Cyborg and me vs. TJ, they can send me the contract. They can negotiate that contract now.”
While that scenario is highly unlikely, Johnson is sticking to his guns and not going to fight Dillashaw otherwise, even if they try and strongarm him.
“I’m straightforward,” Johnson said. “If UFC comes back and says, ‘You know what, Demetrious, we’re not going to give you that,’ I’ll say, ‘Perfect, send me the No. 1 contender in the flyweight division and TJ can stay up and fight whoever he wants.’ That’s how I am when it comes to this.
”I’m not going to sit here and f**king argue. ‘This is what I want. If you’re not going to give it to me, that’s fine. I’ll just keep fighting guys in my division. You want to strip me? Fine, perfect. Strip me. I’ll work my way back up the ladder.’
”I’ve beat everyone in my division. Now I’m waiting for my opportunity to be on the kind of card that makes that kind of money. And I’m not trying to piggyback off anyone else. I feel I bring a lot to the table – 11 title defenses. I should get that opportunity. If people disagree, that’s their problem. That’s what I feel I am worth.”