So much for that DJ-TJ superfight.
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, the potential champion vs. champion fight between UFC flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) and bantawmeight champ T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) isn’t going to happen.
The source is none other than UFC President Dana White, who told the paper in a text message that it’s “not happening. It was never made. Plus, D.J. is hurt and out for a while.”
Johnson said as recently as January that after recovering from rotator cuff surgery, as well as additional procedures, he was hopeful to fight Dillashaw at UFC 226 on July 7 as part of “International Fight Week” at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight presumably would have been for Johnson’s 125-pound belt with Dillashaw moving down 10 pounds.
That card already features a champ vs. champ title fight with light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier moving up to heavyweight to challenge for Stipe Miocic’s belt. Additionally, there was talk that women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes would move up to featherweight to take on champ Cris Cyborg.
Following his 2017 “Submission of the Year” against Ray Borg in his most recent bout, at UFC 216 in October, Johnson, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA pound-for-pound rankings, said he was interested in making an April return.
But surgery changed that plan, and in January Johnson told MMAjunkie he was looking at the July date.
In Johnson’s next title fight, he will attempt to add to his record as the most successful champion in UFC history.
Dillashaw would have had the chance to make his own mark as the fifth two-division champion in UFC history, and along with Conor McGregor, the second to hold multiple belts simultaneously.
White told the Times the promotion was working now instead on a new title fight for Dillashaw to defend the 135-pound belt he recaptured against Cody Garbrandt this past November.
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