Not only is T.J. Dillashaw already mentally and physically invested in a flyweight title bout against Demetrious Johnson, he is willing to be financially invested, too.
The former bantamweight has vowed to surrender his show purse to “Mighty Mouse” if he is unable to make the 125-pound limit for their proposed championship clash. So far, Johnson has balked at the matchup and recently issued a statement claiming his UFC tenure has been marked by “unfulfilled promises and bullying” from the promotion. He also expressed the desire to see Dillashaw prove that he can make 125 pounds once against a different opponent before getting a title shot.
“I’m not gonna miss the weight,” Dillashaw said on UFC Tonight. “I’m already been taking it so serious. I’ve got so much confidence in me making the weight. Go ahead (and put my show purse on the line) because it’s not gonna happen.”
While nothing has been announced, the UFC is targeting a Johnson vs. Dillashaw bout to headline its August pay-per-view card. Even though Johnson has stated that he would prefer to make his next title defense against Ray Borg, Dillashaw is continuing to prepare as if he will face “Mighty Mouse” next.
“As far as I know from talking to [UFC President Dana White] that was the fight that was going to be matched up. That’s what I’m training for right now,” Dillashaw said. “I’ve heard a lot of stuff coming from Demetrious Johnson, but I can’t go back to thinking I’m fighting 35 because I’ve already started the process of trimming my body down, changing my whole body composition. I’m a pretty lean 35 pounder as it is, so I’m having to change a lot. I have to stay on track until I hear otherwise.”
Dillashaw was supposed to face Cody Garbrandt for the bantamweight crown in the UFC 213 headliner on July 8, but a back injury forced “No Love” to withdraw from the card. Dillashaw could theoretically wait for Garbrandt to return to health, as well. For now, he’s stuck in purgatory until a final decision is made. However, staying at bantamweight would require an adjustment to Dillashaw’s regimen.
“Nothing’s off the table for me because I am so up in the air on what’s going on,” he said. “It’s gonna take me a little while to put the weight back on. I train really hard to put weight on at 35. I put lean mass on, which takes a little while. That’s why I need to know sooner rather than later. I can’t be dropping all this weight and being told I’ve got to fight 35. I’m in this crazy position where I need to figure something out. I can’t continue to be on this roller coaster of what fight I’m going to take and when I’m going to take it. I’ve been in training camp for July 8; I did ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ to fight this date.
“It’s been frustrating to say the least. I think that’s where all my anger comes from the most is not knowing what I’m doing.”
That’s all up in the air. I can make the weight and I feel great. It’s not that I wouldn’t defend the belt. It’s whatever makes the most sense at the time.