Demetrious Johnson talking TJ Dillashaw bout for International Fight Week 2018

Get the Full StoryWith surgery out of the way and recovery ahead of him, it sounds like Demetrious Johnson is finally ready to consider a bout with T.J. Dillashaw. Is it finally going to happen? After 9 months of teasing, hemming, and hawing, it s starting to sound like Demetrious Johnson and T.J. Dillashaw might actually fight one another.

What started as a knee-jerk title fight idea when Cody Garbrandt injured his back and T.J. Dillashaw decided to look toward the flyweight division rather than wait around became something of a public meltdown of Dana White s relationship with the promotion s 125 lb champion. DJ wasn t interested in fighting Dillashaw, who had never taken a bout in his division before, and the UFC s handling of his desire to fight Ray Borg instead got pretty ugly.

In the interim, Dillashaw did eventually fight Garbrandt, recapturing the bantamweight belt. And Johnson set the record for UFC title defenses, with an amazing suplex armbar of Borg.

Over the course of it all, Dillashaw s interest in the fight remained strong. With regular public call-outs of Johnson, along with White s insistence that the fight would get made. Now that Johnson is rehabbing from a recent shoulder surgery, it s starting to sound like Dillashaw and White may just get their superfight wish transcript via MMA Junkie .

Recovery is going good, Johnson said at one point, during an hour-and-a-half long Metro PCS Q&A session with Forrest Griffin surrounding UFC 220. I had rotator cuff surgery , labrum and joint clean-out. After 11 title defenses and 12 championship fights, the old dog needs to get some rehab. I got it cleaned up. With six weeks recovery, we can get strong again, and hopefully T.J. Dillashaw can get this match done. Hopefully July, International Fight Week, on a big, big card.

Classically, the International Fight Week mid-July PPV has been one of the UFC s biggest of the year, playing host to events like UFC 100, UFC 200, Lesnar vs. Carwin, Silva vs. Sonnen 2, and Mendes vs. McGregor. However, last year was something of a letdown, especially where the buyrate was concerned.

UFC 213, headlined by Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero, only managed 150,000 buys. The card had initially been planned to include Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt, Nunes vs. Shevchenko, and Cerrone vs. Lawler before various injuries and ailments saw each of those bouts scratched from the card.

The promotion has penciled in UFC 226 as their mid-year PPV this year, set to coincide with the Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale. The event is scheduled to take place on July 7th, in Las Vegas, NV. And if everything goes to plan, Demetrious Johnson vs. T.J. Dillashaw just might be on it.

Share: