T.J. Dillashaw put an end to former teammate Cody Garbrandt via second-round knockout at UFC 217 to claim the UFC bantamweight title.
Following his thrilling victory over Garbrandt, at a post-fight press conference, Dillashaw called out current UFC lightweight champ Demetrious Johnson for the super fight down at 125 pounds.
“Mighty Mouse” has stayed silent on the matter since UFC 217.
Dillashaw told The MMA Hour:
“Why not? This fight makes sense,”
“He doesn’t have anybody, and this thing should’ve happened in August. He wants a big money fight. He wants to prove that he’s the pound-for-pound king. This is the step. I can make the weight. I wanted to stop him from breaking the record, and he wanted to break it first, so he got that out of the way, he got to do what he wanted to do, and he beat the record books. But now it’s time to man up and get this fight going. This is a fight that fans want to see. I keep hearing them say it and everyone’s loving it, so let’s get this done. There’s no reason to be scared now, you got to break the record.”
TJ Dillashaw is not convinced that Johnson will accept his challenge, as he had previously declined the offer earlier this year. Now Dillashaw is UFC bantamweight champion and desire to fight “Mighty Mouse” is more than before.
“He was scared the first time, so I’d imagine he’s still scared now too,” Dillashaw said. “I respect Demetrious Johnson. I respect him as a human being. He always acts like a professional, he’s a nice guy, but that still doesn’t mean that I can’t say that he’s scared to fight me. I do respect him, I respect his choices, and he’s got an awesome little family and stuff, but it’s time to man up. This isn’t about liking or disliking me. This is about the fight that needs to happen.”
“He came by when I was taking photos with the belt (at UFC 217) and he said that I did the first step,” Dillashaw said. “So in my mind, that’s him saying, ‘Let’s get this on.’ I did the first step, because he said to the media that I wasn’t worthy of a title shot, that I needed to be a champion, that he wasn’t going to fight me because I wasn’t a champion. And he came by and said that I did the first step, so I think in his mind too, this is the fight that makes sense.”
If given a chance, Dillashaw hopes to defend belts in two divisions together.
“He’s never defended a title. I have,” Dillashaw said of McGregor. “He’s never defended a belt ever. I’m not one of those guys. I’m one of those guys who’s a hard worker. I’m in the gym nonstop, I’m always in shape, so I’m willing to do what it takes. If they’ll let me defend both (titles), I will. It’s something that, I’m willing to work. I want to prove there’s a way to be a champion and this is the way to do it.”
There is another potential option for Dillashaw could be a rematch with bitter rival Dominick Cruz. T.J. lost his title to Cruz via split decision.
“Cruz can suck it, man,” Dillashaw said. “He’s the one who made me wait forever. He knew he should’ve given me that rematch. He was scared. He thought he was cherry-picking by picking Cody. He was trying to hold onto that belt, get as much as he could. So if it’s up to me, he can wait. He can wait as long as I did. I couldn’t care less. I mean, I do want to beat that guy. I do want to smash because I know that I can, but I don’t care what he says. I’m going for the fight that makes the most sense for me right now, and that’s Demetrious Johnson, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get it.”
Cruz suffered a broken arm and possibility of the rematch is far from to think now.
Who do you want to see Dillashaw fight next?