The best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA, Demetrious Johnson, is now locked in a public disagreement with management over a potential fight with former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. Dillashaw wants the fight, as a title shot at 135 champ Cody Garbrandt fell through when the titleist suffered an injury. The UFC wants the fight, as they feel it can be marketed readily on pay per view television.
However, Johnson is profoundly unsatisfied with the UFC promotion of his career generally, and of Dillashaw fight specifically. The self-described company man, who shows up without trash talking and performs better than anyone, maybe ever, recently let loose via a long message on his social network, and during an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour.
Dillashaw, who is on paper part of the MMAAA fighter organization effort, said he supported some of Johnson’s comments, but argued vehemently that he is worthy of an immediate title shot.
“Mini Mouse or Mighty Mouse? Don’t be scared!” wrote Dillashaw on his social network. “This is the fight game, I’ve takin title fights on 24hrs notice. I’m already waking up at 143lbs, on my way down to put a squash to this hype. You want to call yourself the Goat then what do you have to be afraid of?!
Dillashaw expanded on his stance in an interview with Brett Okamoto for ESPN on the Five Rounds podcast.
“I understand where he’s coming from with some of it but a lot of it was a slap in the face to me as well,” said Dillashaw, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “Trying to say that I don’t really deserve a title shot which I think is complete bullcrap. I don’t think there’s anybody in his weight class right now to push him and I’m healthy, I’m in shape, I’m already in the process – because Dana told me that’s who I’m fighting – of dropping the weight class. I’m waking up at 143 pounds in the morning so that’s a very, very reachable goal.
“So for him to go and discredit my name and the things that I’ve accomplished just to not be worthy of a title shot kind of pissed me off a little bit. And it’s kind of embarrassing to have him go and call himself the GOAT, to be the greatest of all time and turning down fights because he’s scared to fight. He can say whatever he wants to say about all his other issues he has and being bullied – which, I don’t understand how the greatest of all time gets bullied – but it all comes down to him being scared of me beating him. He knows that I’m a bad matchup for him and that it’s a fight that he does not want.”
“I’m gonna make . I have the utmost confidence. I know that I’m gonna make it. I’ve never missed weight once in my entire life or my career going from wrestling from eight years old through all my professional career. If I agree to do something, I’m doing it. I’m a very dedicated athlete and like I said, I’m already waking up at 143 pounds. That’s not big of a weight cut at all. I think it’s just an easy excuse.
“100 percent. Put that [stipulation] in there. I’m not gonna miss the weight. That’s not something I have to be worried about at all. I’ve already got it down to a perfect science of what I’m gonna be doing. So yeah, go ahead and put it in the contract because I’m not gonna miss weight.”
“Don’t be scared. To me it’s like, you’re being a ***** about it. Tell the truth. You’re talking about how you don’t want to fight me for all these other reasons but really you don’t want to fight me because you’re scared. Guess what man, you’re the greatest of all time. Put it out there. This is gonna be a historical event for you to try to break your record, let’s make this the real deal. Let’s make it against an opponent that’s gonna sell some pay-per-views, that’s gonna be a big draw. It’s just frustrating to see him backpedaling from this and it’s embarrassing for the sport for the greatest of all time to be avoiding the fight the way he is.”
“I feel like him fighting me will be able to fix a lot of his problems. He will get a pay-per-view cut. He’s actually gonna make the paychecks he’s earned. He is pound-for-pound best fighter in the world right now, and I think this is the fight to get him paid.