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T.J. Dillashaw: The Fight For Me Is With Demetrious Johnson

UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw wants his shot at flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson.

Dillashaw, who reclaimed the belt for a second time recently with a second round TKO victory over Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217, told “Submission Radio” that he wants a champion vs. champion match with “Mighty Mouse” next.

“The fight for me is Demetrious Johnson,” he said. “The UFC wants it, I want it, the fans want it, so it makes sense. Now it’s all about Demetrious Johnson accepting the challenge. The ball’s in his court for this big fight.”

Earlier this year when Garbrandt suffered an injury that forced a delay in the bout with Dillashaw and the same happened with a planned fight involving Johnson, the 31-year-old Californian agreed to step in and fight the pound-for-pound king. Johnson, though, declined, waiting on the sidelines to defeat Ray Borg and set a new record for consecutive title defenses in the UFC.

“I want to prove that I could have stopped him from breaking the record when he turned down the fight and was scared to fight me, but also the fact that he’s the pound-for-pound best and I believe I am the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, as well as I can be a dual champ, which has only been done one other time, by Conor (McGregor),” he said. “It’s got a lot of perks and it’s a highly-touted fight. You take advantage of these big fights when they come into your future.

“This is something that will help out my legacy, my name, and as well as my pocket book. It’s something that everyone is going to want to see. Demetrious has always shown up for his fights, I don’t blame him for not being a more popular fighter. Everyone’s always talking about Demetrious Johnson being on this long win streak or breaking the record or being a great fighter. It’s true, he always shows up, he always does those things, but he doesn’t have the opponent to push him to that next level to get this big draw, and this is it. This is the one that everyone wants to talk about, everyone wants to see, and so it’s time for him to man up and take this fight.”

As for the progress of such a fight, Dillashaw said that he has talked with the UFC and “that’s what they want to get done.” He added that between getting his body down to 125 pounds to make it official at flyweight and upcoming addition of a baby to his family, “it’s gonna take me a while” to make it all happen.

“But it’s something that I need to know sooner rather than later so that I can start prepping my body,” he added.