TJ Dillashaw has outlined his ambitious plans as a two-weight world champion should he defeat the flyweight belt-holder Demetrious Johnson.
TJ Dillashaw pulled off the greatest win of his professional career to date by knocking out his former-training partner-turned mortal enemy Cody Garbrandt.
Garbrandt managed to end the first-round on a high-point as he caught the former champ Dillashaw clean, knocking him to the ground before the ‘Bang Muay-Thai’-product was able to recuperate after being saved by the bell.
A beautiful timed head-kick in the second saw the momentum of the fight swing massively in the other direction, however, and despite being unable to finish his opponent directly after the first knockdown, TJ was able to muster up a second shortly after, ending the brief but eventful title reign of Garbrandt in what may well have been the best fight of the night.
Now, with the allure of a super-fight with the reigning flyweight-champ Demetrious Johnson a very realistic proposition, Dillashaw spoke to BJ Penn Radio and revealed that a shot at ‘Mighty Mouse’ and a move to the flyweight division is front-and-centre in his plans as the 135lb champ.
“I mean that’s the fight that needs to happen. It has to happen. I mean, it’s got fireworks written all over it. I’ve always said I wanna be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and that’s where he’s at. I’m setting my goals high. I’m chasing him down, you know?
“As well as him already denying the fight, and proving to be afraid of the fight. He was making all these other excuses, and then one of his excuses was that I need to be a champion. Well guess what? That’s done. You know what I mean? You have no more excuses. It’s time to get this thing on, and prove who the best is. You know, I can make the weight class very, very well.
“And I think I’m gonna be very strong, and too much for him, and he knows it. And it’s gonna be very nice for me to be the new best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
And while beating DJ would be a milestone for Dillashaw in itself, if he does win, he apparently seems prepared to reign over the 125lb division as its champ.
The super-fight, if all goes to plan, will perhaps be the biggest payday in the career of both men and while Johnson has seen very little in the way of worthy challengers to his belt at flyweight, a matchup with Dillashaw would certainly stand as a true test of his now-legendary abilities.
“I’m not gonna give out too much info on him, because I really think his fight’s gonna happen, and he’s a very cerebral fighter, and he’ll be listening.
“You know, he’ll see what I’m looking for. But ultimately it comes down to that I don’t have the holes in my game that a lot of the guys he’s fought, and you know, the way he’s able to push them for four rounds, and then get ’em tired, and then finish ’em, you know? I can out wrestle him, I can do everything.
“Like he’s not gonna be able to try to do what he does normally to most of the guys he fights, and that’s gonna be a problem for him.
“I would love to be the guy. I’m a champion that defends his belts. You know what I mean? I’m not gonna be that guy that wins his belt and then doesn’t defend them. I would love to be as active as possible. This is the prime time in my career right now. If I can defend both belts, that would be amazing.”
A win at flyweight for the title would propel TJ into one of the most exclusive groups in mixed martial arts, a spot amongst those fighters who have managed to win belts in more than one division. And though Demetrious’ prowess is beyond question at this stage, it’s pretty realistic to imagine that his opponent may well open up as the favourite if they ever sort things out inside the octagon.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena