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Cody Garbrandt, T.J. Dillashaw both want flyweight superfight against Demetrious Johnson next

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It took years to get to this point, but Demetrious Johnson is a hot name for elite fighters who are looking for a superfight.

The UFC flyweight champion set the record for the most consecutive successful UFC title defenses when he downed Ray Borg at UFC 216. That was Johnson’s 11th defense of his 125-pound belt, surpassing the mark set by longtime middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.

And now, in what may be a first, both competitors in an upcoming UFC title fight have set their sights on another division’s champion as their next bout.

Bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and challenger T.J. Dillashaw, who meet in the co-feature bout of UFC 217 on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden, both have expressed a desire to go down to 125 pounds and meet Johnson next.

“I always like to have a fight ahead of myself, plan ahead,” Garbrandt said on a Wednesday media call. “I’m obviously focused on T.J., but ‘Mighty Mouse’ is next at 125 pounds.”

Dillashaw, for his part, tried to make a fight with Johnson happen over the summer, after the initially scheduled date for a matchup with Garbrandt in July fell out due to a Garbrandt injury. While the rumors of a Johnson vs. Dillashaw fight were well received by fans, Johnson turned the proposed bout down.

But Dillashaw isn’t giving up on the notion.

“He’s the pound-for-pound kingpin and on top of the world right now,” Dillashaw said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I definitely feel that he’s a winnable fight. I definitely feel I could have stopped him from breaking the record and it could have been something great, big money fight for himself. Yeah, that’s something I’d love to do. Big money fight, and especially knowing that I can definitely make the weight. ... That’s definitely something that’s in my crosshairs.”

In the undefeated Garbrandt’s case, he feels there is a major drop-off in talent at 135 pounds after himself and former champions Dominick Cruz and Dillashaw. A victory over Dillashaw would give Garbrandt wins over both, and he doesn’t sound too interested in taking on another 135er next.

“With a knockout over T.J., I’ve wiped out the division,” Grabrandt said. “There’s a big gap between myself, and then there’s Dominick and T.J., and then it falls off from there. Like I said, T.J. is my next adversary, my next challenge. I know what he brings to the table. I’m focused and prepared on that, to wipe him out, and then go on from there.”

As for Dillashaw, he, too, is focused on the task at hand. But he hopes Johnson comes around on the merits of a matchup with a bantamweight champ.

“We’ll see how it goes down,” Dillashaw said. “That would be definitely something I’m interested in, a huge legacy fight, something that needs to be done.”