It appears a proposed super fight between T.J. Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson is officially off the table.
For the past few months, Dillashaw and Johnson have been talking about facing each other in a champion versus champion showdown with hopes that they could land on the UFC 226 card during International Fight Week in July.
Now according to UFC president Dana White, Johnson is still out due to injury after having shoulder surgery and the promotion is working on an alternate plan to find a new opponent for Dillashaw as he looks to defend his bantamweight title for the first time since defeating Cody Garbrandt to become a two-time champion last November.
White stated adamantly when speaking to the L.A. Times that Dillashaw vs. Johnson “is not happening” while also adding, “it was never made. Plus, D.J. is hurt and out for a while.”
As much as White says that Johnson’s injury is a major factor in the fight no longer happening, the longest reigning champion in UFC history has said that he would be ready for a summer showdown with Dillashaw if he could reach an agreement with the promotion on a deal that made financial sense for a bout of that magnitude.
“It was never made. Plus, D.J. is hurt and out for a while,” Dana White on proposed super fight between Dillashaw and Johnson
It’s entirely possible that the two sides couldn’t come to any sort of an agreement so Johnson will instead to go back and face the next top contender at 125 pounds rather than a more lucrative super fight against Dillashaw.
Meanwhile, Dillashaw has a long list of contenders champing at the bit to get at him including Garbrandt, who has already asked for a rematch, as well as former champion Dominick Cruz. Dillashaw lost his bantamweight title to Cruz back in 2016, which definitely sets up that rivalry rematch without much trouble.
Raphael Assuncao is another name at bantamweight that bears mentioning considering he’s split a pair of fights with Dillashaw in the past. There’s also a pivotal matchup at bantamweight taking place in June when Jimmie Rivera takes on Marlon Moraes.
Any of those fighters could be next in line when the UFC finally makes their decision on who will get the next crack at Dillashaw and the bantamweight title.
As for Johnson’s next fight, he may end up drawing a rematch against Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo, who has won his last two bouts in a row while climbing back into title contention.
Who would you like to see next for Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw now that it appears their super fight is off? Sound off in the comments and let us know