Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight king T.J. Dillashaw is scheduled to rematch former teammate Cody Garbrandt for the belt on Aug. 4 at UFC 227 inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles. However, he still has aspirations of challenging flyweight ace Demetrius Johnson once this fight is in the books.
While speculation mounted that Dillashaw would fight Johnson as part of a superfight double header alongside heavyweights Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier on July 7 at UFC 226, the contest never materialised for a number of reasons, most notably due to the fact that Johnson is recovering from shoulder surgery and has been out of action since October.
Dillashaw appeared on a recent episode of “The MMA Hour” to explain how the negotiations broke down between himself and “Mighty Mouse.”
“As far as I was told, UFC said they wanted it. They keep telling me Demetrious Johnson was too scared to accept the fight. He might say differently, I don’t really know. When it comes down to it, I am not going to continue to push hard for something that is not going to happen. I can’t wait around forever to get paid.”
Dillashaw will now turn his focus to his rematch with Garbrandt, whom he knocked out in their first bout last November. While there is a lot of animosity between the pair outside the Octagon relating to Dillashaw’s departure from the Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento where Garbrandt trains, there is a lot of mutual respect for each other as fighters and once the Octagon cage doors close expect a highly competitive fight between the pair.
While Dillashaw has booked his next fight, Johnson still hasn’t announced when his return to the Octagon will be. A number of reports have speculated a rematch with Olympian wrestler Henry Cejudo at the end of the year, although nothing has been officially confirmed.