TJ Dillashaw scored the men’s 135lbs UFC bantamweight title earlier this month in the main event of UFC 217 by knocking out undefeated champ Cody Garbrandt.
Dillashaw wants his next fight to be with current men’s flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, who he called out in his post-fight interview and the UFC 217 post-fight press conference.
Johnson is the best pound-for-pound fighter right now, a flyweight champion- has just broken former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s title-defense record with a move out of a comic book.
Coach and MMA legend Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig recently opened up about the potential fight between Dillashaw and Johnson at the latest episode of MMA Hour:
“We were en route to fight Demetrious at one point and the direction he was taking with his strength and conditioning coach, T.J. was looking phenomenal on the mitts and the sparring and the training, and he looked good, his spirits were good,” Ludwig said. “So obviously we didn’t make 125 and fight and compete, but when were were en route of that, nothing really changed. T.J.’s not a big ‘35er, so he can make ‘25. It’s not going to be easy, but he’s the most dedicated person that I’ve ever seen. He really is.”
Johnson has defended off every opponent at 125 pounds, and break the promotional record for most consecutive title defenses after he defeated Ray Borg at UFC 216. It has been six years since his last loss, which just so happened to be the last time he fought at bantamweight division.
With Johnson lacking a bit regarding PPV sales, a super fight with the bantamweight champion Dillashaw could prove to be a success for sales and PPV buys.
Coach Ludwig preferably said Dillashaw is the only option. He predicts that Dillashaw has what it takes to steal that thunder.
“I think it needs to happen,” Ludwig said. “Demetrius, he’s fighting the top guys – this works out because (Joseph) Benavidez is out right now, he’s still having to wait a couple of months with his knee surgery, so it works out time-wise, so in my eyes I would like to see T.J. drop down, fight Demetrious, and then go back to ‘35.”
“There are some areas that we could capitalize on, that’s for sure. But I’m not going to necessarily say that he’s weak in any one area because he’s really not,” Ludwig said. “He’s great everywhere. This is a tough challenge, but T.J. could beat him. I just think he’s on another level like T.J’s on another level; they’re both on another level compared to the people in their weight class, he just really is.”
Who wants to see this super fight? Do you think TJ will manage to make it to Flyweight?