It’s pretty clear that UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson does not want to fight former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. Unfortunately for him, UFC President Dana White can’t understand his reasoning behind his desire to not fight him as well as turn down the opportunity to get a piece of pay-per-view revenue for the first time in his career. White has been a bit heated ever since Johnson went on record by saying he was not interested in fighting Dillashaw despite it being a tough fight for Johnson, who’s one title defense away from breaking Anderson Silva’s long-standing record of 10
Dillashaw was supposed to fight current 135-pound kingpin Cody Garbrandt this summer, but that bout was scrapped after Garbrandt was sidelined due to a back injury. Now, Dillashaw needs a fight, and he wants it to be for gold, so he is willing to drop down to flyweight and challenge Johnson.
“I have a fight with Demetrious Johnson where he’s on his way to break the record – Anderson Silva’s record for most title defenses,” White told the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast (transcript courtesy of MMA Junkie. “And T.J. Dillashaw can’t fight Cody ‘No Love’ because Cody screwed up his back, and Cody won’t be back for a while. He’s like, ‘I can make this weight, and I’m going to stop him from breaking that record.’ “T.J. is going to go down to 125 to fight D.J. to stop him from breaking the record, but D.J. doesn’t want to fight him. Tell me – you tell me,” White said. “It’s insanity.”
Rather than fighting Dillashaw, Johnson he wants a bout against Ray Borg, who is currently 5-1 in his last six bouts. Johnson has said he simply wants to focus on the guys who fight full-time in his weight class. However, White is ready to pull rank to get the fight he wants.
“Unfortunately for D.J., you don’t make the fights around here,” he said. “I do. (Johnson vs. Dillashaw is) the fight we’re pushing for.”
White is surprised that Johnson is willing to turn down the opportunity to get a piece of PPV revenue for the first time in his dominant career.
“This is the first fight ever in D.J.’s history that he actually gets pay-per-view,” White said. “He gets pay-per-view on this one, and this is the first real fight that people will care about and want to see on pay-per-view, and he is refusing to fight T.J. Dillashaw.”
The fight has been rumored to take place on August 19th and in Seattle, which is near Johnson’s Washington home. It’s also rumored that the UFC would hold UFC 215 on that date. This could be Johnson’s best chance to make an impact on PPV, which is another reason why White simply cannot understand the reason for Johnson wanting to fight Borg.
“What’s he ranked – like (No.) 5 or 6?” he said. “T.J. Dillashaw is a former world champion, coming down from the weight class above who’s next in line for the title shot there. Absolutely he’s next in line (at flyweight), if that’s what he wants. … It’s nothing against Ray Borg.”