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Morning Report: Demetrious Johnson says negotiations have begun for title defense against TJ Dillashaw

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UFC 186 Media Day Photos
Demetrious Johnson
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Over the weekend, Max Holloway was forced out of his title defense against Frankie Edgar that was supposed to headline UFC 222 next month. With the UFC scrambling to fill the void, they apparently targeted a rematch between bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and former champion Cody Garbrandt. Dillashaw shut down the idea, saying that he would not be accepting a short notice fight to defend his belt and reasserting that he was planning on fighting flyweight champion and pound-for-pound kingpin, Demetrious Johnson, later this year. Well apparently, Demetrious Johnson has the same plans.

Speaking on his Twitch stream over the weekend, Johnson announced that he has officially begun negotiations with the UFC about fighting Dillashaw in the co-main event of UFC 226.

“We’re in negotiations [to co-headline UFC 226],” Johnson said. “Once my main man gets in here I’ll have him update all of the commands, that way when people come in here and ask about T.J. Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson fighting each other, you guys know negotiations have begun. They have begun.”

A Johnson vs. Dillashaw superfight has been in the works for some time now but Johnson has maintained he isn’t interested in the fight unless the appropriate monetary compensation goes along with it. The UFC’s brief attempt to book Dillashaw on short notice could have threatened the superfight, but with the bantamweight champion shooting that idea down, all parties can now return to pursuing a bout that could determine the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. At least, Dillashaw has suggested as much though in an interview with ESPN, Johnson shot the idea down.

“I think the reason I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world is I beat everyone in my division,” Johnson said. “He’s had close fights with guys in his division, like Raphael Assuncao. Dominick Cruz beat him. His last fight, against Cody, he got dropped.

”It’s a little different, especially when you’re talking about a bigger guy going down to fight a smaller guy. I think the reason people put that label on me is I’ve beaten every single type of style and skill set that’s come to me. I beat John Dodson twice - TJ lost to Dodson.”

Johnson is, of course, the only champion the UFC’s flyweight division has ever known, setting the title defense record against Ray Borg in his last fight. Conversely, Dillashaw has been one of several bantamweight champions over the past few years, winning the title from Renan Barao before losing it to Dominick Cruz. He regained the title by knocking out Garbrandt last year but has yet to make a sustained run as champion and only has wins over three fighters currently ranked in the top 15 of his division. ‘Mighty Mouse’ says these factors should play a role in determining pound-for-pound greatness.

“I’ve been a champion for five years. He hasn’t been a champion for a year yet. If he were to beat me, and everyone would say, ‘Oh, he’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world!’ and the next thing you know, he gets knocked out in a bantamweight fight, I would say that ‘reign’ would be cheap. It’s not warranted.”

“The reason I have that label is my longevity as a champion and dominating higher competition. His fight against Cody wasn’t a blowout, they exchanged and his punch landed. It wasn’t like he dominated him in wrestling or jiu-jitsu. That’s my personal opinion.”

The Johnson-Dillashaw superfight is in talks for taking place at on July 7 at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, Nev. The main event that evening is another champion vs. champion superfight with heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic defending his belt against light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier.


Results. Lyoto Machida is back, plus the rest of the UFC Belem results.

Mario. Dana White doesn’t want Mario Yamasaki to ref again after UFC Belem fiasco.

Stay ready. Eddie Alvarez is staying ready in case disaster strikes UFC 223.

Out. Max Holloway is injured and out of UFC 222 title defense against Frankie Edgar.

DJ. T.J. Dillashaw shot down a potential rematch with Cody Garbrandt to save UFC 223.

USADA. Anderson Silva tested positive for steroid and diuretic in USADA drug test.


UFC 221 Countdown.

Free fight.

T-Wood’s show.

Dana and Nate.

Conor already preparing his next moves.


6th Round. Immediate post-fight breakdown of UFC Belem.

Severe. Discussing UFC Belem, UFC 221, Holloway injury, Rousey, Anderson and more.



Yves is a hero.


Also, maybe don’t book a fight this lopsided?

Conor was active this weekend.


A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

When there is no referee to save you.

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Round 1 goes to Max.

When there is

A post shared by Max Holloway (@blessedmma) on

Speaking of Max.

Poor Frankie.

Not the best look for Cody.



Big John knows.

Shots fired.

Make it happen, Dana.


And the highlight of the weekend.


Wilson Reis (22-8) vs. John Moraga (18-6); UFC Glendale, April 14.


2005: At UFC 51, Andrei Arlovski became the UFC interim heavyweight champion (later promoted to undisputed) by submitting Tim Sylvia in the first of their four fight rivalry.

Also this night, Evan Tanner won the UFC middleweight title by stopping David Terrell in the first round.

2011: Anderson Silva put one up on the highlight reel, knocking out Vitor Belfort with a front kick at UFC 126.


Machida calling out Bisping is a perfect fight, and we should all hope that is their double retirement bout.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.



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