TJ Dillashaw Expects to Face Demetrious Johnson with Cody Garbrandt Unlikely to Fight

May 22, 2017

It’s looking less and less likely that the planned UFC 213 bout between bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and top contender TJ Dillashaw will happen.

The day prior to UFC 211, Garbrandt posted on his social media accounts that a back injury that hadn’t healed as expected appeared likely to keep him out of his planned bout with Dillashaw at UFC 213 on July 8 in Las Vegas. UFC president Dana White, however, was quick to shoot down Garbrandt’s skepticism, saying that he was sending Garbrandt to Germany to have a treatment for his back that White was all but sure would alleviate the issue. 

Dillashaw, in an interview with ESPN on Sunday afternoon, didn’t sound so sure about Garbrandt’s chances of staying in the fight. If Garbrandt doesn’t fight, Dillashaw is expecting to be pushed back to August, when he would challenge UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.

Cody Garbrandt UFC 207 Post“I was told that if Cody is out of the fight, which I am 99 percent sure he is, I will be fighting [Johnson] in August,” Dillashaw told ESPN. “I texted Dana White three days ago to ask what the deal was. He told me Cody had one more day of injections [in Germany] and then we’d find out what was going on.”

Johnson hasn’t sounded all that excited about Dillashaw skipping the line to get a 125-pound title shot while other flyweight contenders, like Ray Borg, wait in the wings. White, however, seems to think it is an exciting opportunity if Garbrandt is unable to fight. 

“Dana was really excited about that. I don’t know if [Johnson] wants to turn down the fight or what. I don’t really know how that works. I’ve never turned down a fight from the UFC before. I don’t know if you’re really allowed to — but Dana was very excited about it,” said Dillashaw.

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Though Johnson may not like the idea of Dillashaw getting an immediate title shot upon dropping to flyweight, it would make for a marquee match-up. The UFC is rumored to be trying to schedule a pay-per-view event in August in Seattle, which would be an ideal target for the bout.

For now, however, we’ll have to wait and see if Garbrandt is definitively ruled out of the UFC 213 bout with Dillashaw.

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