The long gestating super fight between bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and flyweight king Demetrious Johnson appeared to be a certainty in recent months but now the matchup seems in jeopardy once again.
The UFC first attempted to put the fight together last year when Johnson needed an opponent and Dillashaw was willing to cut down to 125 pounds to face him after his bout against Cody Garbrandt was delayed due to injury.
The fight didn’t happen but then Dillashaw defeated Garbrandt a few months later to become bantamweight champion for the second time and he immediately called for the matchup with Johnson where he would once again drop down to the flyweight division.
It was just over a week ago when Johnson said that negotiations had started to have him face Dillashaw in July but now UFC president Dana White doesn’t sound so optimistic that the fight will still happen.
“I don’t know. These two are all over the place,” White said about the fight on “UFC Tonight”. “Obviously I know T.J. wants that fight, I’m not positive that D.J. wants that fight. We’ll see how this thing plays out.”
It’s not clear why White is suddenly so uncertain about the matchup but it may come down to financial negotiations that could stand in the way.
If the fight falls apart, White seems to be interested in putting Dillashaw in a rematch against Garbrandt again after the UFC attempted to pull that bout together on short notice when a main event was needed for the March 3 card in Las Vegas.
“Obviously I know T.J. wants that fight, I’m not positive that D.J. wants that fight. We’ll see how this thing plays out.” ~ Dana White
Dillashaw ultimately turned down the fight for UFC 222 stating that he hadn’t been in training full time since the birth of his son and also felt like Garbrandt should have to earn a rematch after getting knocked out in the second round in their first go round.
Still, White likes the idea of doing that rematch if a deal can’t be brokered to put Dillashaw against Johnson later this year.
“If that fight doesn’t happen, people would love to see Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw do it again,” White said. “So either way we have an amazing fight.”
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