T.J. Dillashaw Looking to Fight Demetrious Johnson, But Mighty Mouse Isn’t Interested

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T.J. Dillashaw responds
Image Credit: AP / Jeff Haynes

Perhaps lost in the ocean of information that came out of the UFC Summer Kickoff press conference, not to mention the build up to UFC 211, is the fact that the bantamweight title fight between champ Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw is very much in limbo. That’s because Garbrandt is suffering back problems, and announced he’s having a procedure done in Germany to correct it. That will be his second back surgery in a matter of months. It also means that their UFC 213 fight simply may not happen. So with that in mind, Dillashaw has set his sites elsewhere: Mighty Mouse.

Saying he can make the weight, Dillashaw is campaigning for a shot at the 125lb title. It would be an interesting fight, assuming Dillashaw could indeed make 125lbs. A former bantamweight champion against the best in the world at flyweight, Demetrious Johnson.

Mighty Mouse, however, is having none of it. In fact, he told MMAFighting that “there’s other challengers in the division with more wins and on a winning streak. This wouldn’t be a super-fight because TJ is not a champion. He’s just a 135er coming down to 125 to skip the line that other flyweight competitors have worked hard to climb.”

Johnson did admit that were Dillashaw still champ, however, “there’d be something there.”

Sounds like the former Team Alpha Male fighter may just have to wait for Garbrandt to heal up. Meanwhile there’s no word on who Johnson might face for his tenth title defense. Should he be successful in defending the belt next time out, he’ll take over sole possession of the UFC title defense record. Currently, he sits tied with the legendary Anderson Silva.

Dillashaw later responded to Johnson’s comments, telling MMAFighting that “I believe Joseph Benavidez is the rightful contender” but that as Benavidez is out with an injury, the timing is right. He went on to add that Johnson “needs to understand that this will be his biggest fight possible to make the most money, since he was so worried about making money after his last fight. I have tons of respect for DJ as a fighter and a person. I’m not trying to talk trash, I just want to fight the best.”