Demetrious Johnson Accepted Fight Against T.J. Dillashaw But UFC Had Other Plans

August 1, 2018

Demetrious Johnson was ready for a super fight against UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.

Following his most recent win over Ray Borg this past October, Johnson says he was offered and accepted a fight against Dillashaw when the UFC tried to book the highly anticipated showdown between the two champions.

UFC president Dana White had said that it was the fight to make after Dillashaw dispatched Cody Garbrandt last November and apparently the matchup was slated to happen until Johnson suffered a shoulder injury that put him on the sidelines due to surgery to repair the damage.

“So the fight wasn’t offered to me after I got injured,” Johnson said when speaking on the UFC 227 media conference call on Tuesday. “When they offered it to me, I accepted it, then I got injured and I got surgery. When it came time to fight again, from my understanding from my management’s standpoint is T.J. got an offer to fight Cody with a brand new deal. So god bless him for taking the new deal to fight Cody. Leading up to this fight, or even in July, I was never offered to fight T.J. Dillashaw.

“Before I got injured I was going to be fighting him but then they moved on and went to Cody and T.J.”

Considering how Johnson has torn through every contender the UFC has thrown at him at 125 pounds, it was understandable why there was so much excitement about a potential matchup against another champion like Dillashaw.Demetrious Johnson UFC 216

Now both fighters are competing in separate matches at UFC 227 this weekend but wins from Johnson and Dillashaw could put them right back on course for a collision later this year.

For his part, Johnson is still open to taking the fight with Dillashaw so long as it makes financial sense for him. Otherwise, Johnson is more than happy to just keep defending his belt at flyweight against whatever contenders the UFC can throw at him.

“Yeah if the money’s right,” Johnson answered when asked about facing Dillashaw after UFC 227. “I’ve always been up front about these super fights. Everybody keeps talking about these super fights. If the money’s not there, if the competition’s not there, then I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. Obviously that’s up to my management to make that happen.

“My management knows what I want, the UFC knows what I want. So for me, I show up to fight the No. 1 contender in the flyweight division. I’ll continue to do that until something comes to my table that looks appetizing.”

As far as potentially bumping up a division and challenging for a second world title like Conor McGregor did back in 2016 or what Daniel Cormier just accomplished at UFC 226, Johnson wasn’t ready to go that far just yet.

Johnson wants to keep his focus on Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo, who he faces on Saturday night, and then he’ll think more specifically about what comes next in his career.

“Obviously right now I’m focused on Henry Cejudo,” Johnson added. “So obviously I’ve got to get through him and then we’ll talk to my management team and we can figure that out. But as of right now, I’m focused on Henry Cejudo and we’ll go from there.”