The proposed superfight between champions Demetrious Johnson and T.J. Dillashaw is not happening. At least according to UFC president Dana White.
“It was never made. Plus, D.J. is hurt and out for a while,” White texted the Los Angeles Times. He went on to add that they are working on setting up a bantamweight title defense for Dillashaw versus an as-of-yet unnamed opponent.
If White is telling the truth (which often isn’t the case), this is a disappointing, and quite frankly surprising, development. Both fighters were seemingly on board for the fight – publicly they both said so. Dillashaw was said to be in good position to safely cut down to 125-pounds to challenge for Mighty Mouse’s belt. So what happened?
It could have come down to money – both guys might have been asking for too much money for the fight. Neither of them have proven to be much of a pay-per-view draw, so the UFC might not have felt they’d earn enough from the fight to meet the fighters’ financial demands. Or it could be, as Ariel Helwani has speculated on his various shows, a case of the UFC punishing Dillashaw for not taking a last minute fight against Cody Garbrandt earlier this month at UFC 222.
Or, more than likely, this is just White posturing and publicly negotiating to get the UFC a better deal with the fighters. Good chance this fight is still going to happen.