The rumored August matchup was never was made, though, because Johnson didn’t want it, prefering to make his UFC record-setting 11th title defense against Ray Borg instead.
After UFC 217, though, the concept Johnson vs. Dillashaw is back at the forefront. Such a fight would now be a champion vs. champion superfight after Dillashaw finished Cody Garbrandt on Saturday night in New York City to become a two-time champion.
And with Johnson’s win over Borg at UFC 216 not exactly doing blockbuster business, White believes the time is right for “Mighty Mouse” to make the paycheck he’s always wanted.
“He’s been crying for a long time for a big fight,” White said of Johnson at the UFC 217 press conference at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “He’s got his big fight now. You know I’m down for it because I was down for it before, but now it’s even better. They both have belts, so, yeah.”
Johnson is now getting pay-per-view points under his new contract, and as such, White believes the flyweight king should take a vested interest in taking the biggest box-office bout.
“He’s a partner in the pay-per-view,” White said. “Let’s see what your PPV does, you’re a partner, let’s see what you make. Listen, you can’t be in a position where you’re like “I want $2 million, f*ck you, I don’t care what you make. I don’t care how much this thing sells, I just want $2 million.”
Dillashaw, for his part, remains willing to go down to 125 pounds to make the fight happen. The big question, of course, is whether he can make the weight.
The two-time 135-pound champion dismisses such concerns.
“The reason why I look so lean at 135 pounds is the way I work,” Dillashaw said. “I put muscle on, I’m not a big 135er. A walk around at 150, you know? But I stack on, I stay lean, I keep my diet, I’ve kept on my diet since The Ultimate Fighter.”
White, for his part, says Dillashaw’s weight isn’t his concern.
“It’s not up to me to feel confident about it” White said. “It’s him. Does he feel confident he can make the weight, and he was very confident when I talked to him that he could do it.”