TJ Dillashaw is trying to call all the shots.
After his spectacular second round TKO victory over Cody Garbrant at UFC 217, newly re-crowned Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw called out Flyweight king Demetrious Johnson for a rare superfight at 125 pounds. While “Mighty Mouse” has largely eerily silent on the matter, Dillashaw reiterated his intents this week.
“Why not? This fight makes sense,” Dillashaw explained Monday on The MMA Hour.
“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.”
Dillashaw first challenged Johnson this past summer after Cody Garbrandt withdrew from UFC 213’s main event with a back injury. UFC president Dana White publicly lobbied for the fight, however Johnson declined, and instead to broke the title defense record against Ray Borg.
“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.”
Dillashaw said Johnson addressed him after the win at 217.
“He came by when I was taking photos with the belt (at UFC 217) and he said that I did the first step. 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.”
When asked about other Bantamweights looking for their change at the belt, especially Dominick Cruz the greatest Bantamweight of all time, TJ didn’t seem eager to entertain him as a contender.
“Cruz can suck it, man,” he 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.”
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