Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw wanted the chance to fight for the 135-pound strap, currently held by Cody Garbrandt, but a back injury benched “No Love” for the first half of the summer.
Dejected, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 25 coach went looking elsewhere in his quest to reclaim gold, and was even willing to shed an extra 10 pounds to face reigning flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson.
So why wasn’t Dillashaw upset when “Mighty Mouse” turned him down?
“That was kind of like going for a consolation prize,” Dillashaw told MMA Junkie. “If I couldn’t get my belt, I wanted a belt. And I felt like it was a big, hyped-up fight I could’ve pushed with Demetrious. Unfortunately, he did not want that. Unfortunately, he’s too cerebral of a fighter.”
Johnson instead opted to face top flyweight contender Ray Borg.
Fortunately for Dillashaw, Garbrandt is now healthy and ready to defend his title at the upcoming UFC 217: “Bisping vs. St-Pierre” pay-per-view (PPV) event in New York City, which takes place Nov. 4, 2017 inside Madison Square Garden.
For much more on that upcoming showdown click here.