Earlier this year, the reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson underwent shoulder surgery, not long after that he announced that the negotiations for his fight against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw have commenced. Since then the super fight talks have stalled, but Mighty Mouse is adamant that that’s the fight he wants.
Johnson said that the sticking point of the champ vs. champ bout might be money. Both fighters were holding out for the best deal, but it seems like the UFC is hesitant.
“That’s the fight I want,” Johnson said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “That’s the fight I believe that should go down. I believe the UFC knows that’s the fight that I want. The biggest thing I’ve been really focusing on is letting Malki [Kawa] and Abe [Kawa] at First Round Management handle that stuff. I have, they’re great managers and I told them what I want and they talk to the UFC. I think the talks with Malki and those guys have kind have gone dormant.”
The discussion of the matchup has been doing rounds for a while; Johnson said if the UFC isn’t interested in doing this super fight, he is sticking to his guns and will fight whoever is next in line and move on.
“At the end of the day, UFC is a business,” Johnson said. “T.J. obviously just won the belt and he’s been the champ for maybe five or six months, and so there’s still a line of contenders he could fight in the division. You have your Dominick Cruz, Jimmie Rivera, the Cody Garbrandt rematch, so they have options for that one. Whereas for me, I have options as well and rematches and whatever. But I think TJ wants this fight because it is probably a bigger paycheck for him, and hopefully for me too, so we’ll see what the UFC wants to do.”
Tj Dillashaw reclaimed the UFC bantamweight title with a knockout win over Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217, since then has been aggressively calling for a flyweight title shot against Mighty Mouse and would go down to 125 pounds.
However, Johnson is more interested in cementing himself in history by constantly defending his titles against all challengers. So he bluntly said he wouldn’t be moving back up to 135 pounds regardless of the outcome of the super fight against Dillashaw:
“I’m going to be frank and honest,” Johnson said. “If I went up there and beat T.J. Dillashaw at 135 pounds, I have no interest whatsoever in staying at 135. People are like ‘why not?’ and I’m like I have no interest in fighting guys who walk around at 160 pounds.
“That’s going to put more wear and tear on your body,” he added. “You can do X, Y, and Z. I’m looking at the my longevity of my career, I want to fight another 5-6 years whether I win or lose, and I’m going to do that fighting guys my size. You look at the ‘Suga Show,’ Sean O’Malley. The guy is 5-11. My god, I mean, it’s just, it creates more, and obviously I would do it if the money was right, but I’m not going to sit here and argue with somebody who doesn’t believe I should make X, Y, and Z, who believe I should do something.”
Johnson last fought in October at UFC 216, where he earned a spectacular fifth-round armbar submission against Ray Borg.
What do you think of Demetrious Johnson’s comments, and you think UFC will materialize this super fight?