Tag Archive for T.J.

Henry Cejudo Wants T.J. Dillashaw First, Then Demetrious Johnson Rematch

Moments after capturing the Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight title last month at UFC 227, Henry Cejudo called out the winner of the preceding bantamweight bout between T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt.
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Demetrious Johnson Claims He Accepted Fight vs. T.J. Dillashaw Before Shoulder Surgery

Demetrious Johnson apparently accepted a champion vs. champion superfight against T.J. Dillashaw earlier this year before an injury derailed those plans.
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Ludwig Wants T.J. Vs Cruz 2 If ‘Mighty Mouse’ Escapes

It’s no secret T.J. Dillashaw and his camp want a fight against current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Demetrious Johnson to prove he is indeed the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in the game today.

Talks, though, have cooled off a bit according to “Mighty Mouse” himself, who is still rehabbing from recent shoulder surgery. And though Duane Ludwig — T.J.’s head trainer — isn’t a part of the fight negotiations, he seems to think financial details are holding up the bout.

“[The] holdup is probably dates and money, I’m assuming,” Ludwig said on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio via BJPenn.com.“I really don’t know what the hold up is, because I’m not in on those meetings and I don’t really want to be. I have focused my efforts on the actual martial arts aspect, of improving TJ and his martial arts in general. I’m teaching him and finding out, again, what actually works. But the business side, I try to let them figure that out on their own.”

Indeed, both parties have gone on record saying they want to get paid handsomely in order to make the fight. Whether or not UFC and Endeavor want to fork over the cash is another story.

Should the the fight not see the light of day, Ludwig would like to see his pupil get a rematch with former Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

“What’s Cruz’s situation, now?,” Ludwig queried on the show. “For me, personally, I would like to see that [rematch]. So Demetrious, and then – or – Cruz,” he concluded.

Dominick narrowly defeated Dillashaw via split decision back in 2016 to win back his 135-pound title. Cruz ultimately lost the strap to Cody Garbrandt, who ultimately coughed it up to T.J. at UFC 217 last November. And now we’ve come full circle, as the Dillashaw camp is keen on getting one back from “The Dominator.”

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Henry Cejudo Believes Demetrious Johnson Could Easily Defeat T.J. Dillashaw

Former flyweight title challenger Henry Cejudo has weighed in with his thoughts on the outcome of a potential superfight between the current Ultimate Fighting Championship 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson and bantamweight ace T.J. Dillashaw.
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T.J. Dillashaw lost a lot of respect for Cody Garbrandt, doesn’t deserve rematch after knocking him out at UFC 217

T.J. Dillashaw once again became the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight champion after knocking out Cody Garbrandt in the second round of their co-main event title fight at last night’s (Sat., Nov. 4, 2017) UFC 217 pay-per-view (PPV) event in New York City (recap).

Shortly after suffering the first loss of his professional combat career, “No Love” declared he was still the best fighter of the two, saying he would right his wrongs in a rematch. Dillashaw, though, says Cody now has to work his way up for a do-over seeing as how the win was pretty convincing.

“I just finished him in the second round. He doesn’t deserve a rematch,” Dillashaw said Saturday at the UFC 217 post-fight press conference (video replay here) via MMA Fighting. “He’s very new in this sport, he needs to work his way back up. I should’ve gotten a rematch after that (Dominick) Cruz fight (in Jan. 2016), a very close split decision that I thought I won, and I did not get it. It took me a year-and-a-half — well actually, almost two years — to get it. So yeah, I think he’s going to definitely (need to) build himself back up.”

Indeed, T.J. never got an immediate rematch against Dominick Cruz after many felt “Viper” should’ve gotten the nod at UFC Fight Night 81. Instead, the promotion gave Garbrandt the title fight and he defeated “The Dominator” to become the 135-pound king.

Now that T.J. scored a huge win over his former Team Alpha Male Squad in their on-going rivalry, “Viper” says the respect level for “No Love” is there as a fighter. But as a person, T.J. says he lost a lot of respect for his former teammate.

“I respect him as a fighter as well,” Dillashaw said. “I do not appreciate, me or my family — as you can see, my brother got very emotional after the fight — have not appreciated the accusations and just the crap talk, and trying to diminish my name and who I am. So, that’s one that I won’t ever forgive him for. But I do respect him for being a great competitor and I’m sure we’ll see him again. But yeah, he’s lost a lot of my respect. He’s lost all of the respect from my family,” he added.

After the fight, Dillashaw took to the mic to call for a Flyweight title fight against division king Demetrious Johnson. But, Jimmie Rivera or Dominick Cruz could have something to say about that once they do the dance at UFC 219.

“We’ll see what happens with Dominick Cruz and (Jimmie) Rivera (at UFC 219),” Dillashaw said. “That’s a tough fight. I think Cruz has his hands full with that fight,” said T.J. “But Demetrious can’t run from this one. This is too big. He broke his record. He got to pat himself (on the back) and break his record. Now let’s make some money. He’s talking about how he wants those seven-figure fights — well, this is it. Step up, be a man of your word, and let’s get this fight going. He’s a very cerebral fighter. He’s smart, him and his coach, because they know it’s a very tough fight against me,” concluded Dillashaw.

And he may just get his wish, as UFC president Dana White is indeed very interested in setting up a super fight between T.J. and “Mighty Mouse,” giving Garbrandt plenty of time to work his way up the 135-pound ladder.

For complete UFC 217: “Bisping vs. St-Pierre” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw Official, Three New Bouts Announced for UFC 217

The rumored Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw bantamweight championship bout is now official for UFC 217.
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Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw Official, Three New Bouts Announced for UFC 217

The rumored Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw bantamweight championship bout is now official for UFC 217.
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T.J. Dillashaw Vows He Won’t Miss Weight for Potential Title Bout vs. ‘Mighty Mouse’

Not only is T.J. Dillashaw already mentally and physically invested in a flyweight title bout against Demetrious Johnson, he is willing to be financially invested, too.
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Demetrious Johnson lays out reasons why he doesn’t want to fight T.J. Dillashaw

Demetrious Johnson brought up both Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey to illustrate why he wants to continue to stay true to the flyweight division and his 125-pound title.

“Look what Conor is doing now,” Johnson told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “Conor isn’t even in the sport of mixed martial arts, technically. He’s a champ and he’s not even ready to defend his belt. Where’s Ronda at? Exactly — nobody knows. Where’s my black ass at? I’m still out here trying to defend my title, I’m still trying to represent this company as the greatest combat sport on the planet Earth.”

The UFC wants Johnson to defend his title against former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw this summer. Johnson isn’t interested. He’d rather fight for the belt against someone from the flyweight division who has worked his way up the ranks. Johnson wanted Sergio Pettis as a foe, but ended up agreeing to face Ray Borg.

In his mind, there is no reason to have rankings in every division if they don’t mean anything. Johnson wants the UFC to be a true sport, based on climbing the ladder.

“If not, you’re basically lying to the public and selling wolf tickets like Nick Diaz would say,” Johnson said.

Johnson, 30, has 10 straight title defenses, which is tied for the most in UFC history with Anderson Silva. In his next title defense, Johnson has a chance to break that record. And he won’t do it against Dillashaw, someone who has never made 125 pounds before.

“Mighty Mouse” said he wanted some guarantees if Dillashaw could not make the weight — that he’d get his full purse, Dillashaw’s purse and the fight would be cancelled. The UFC responded, Johnson said, by saying Borg would be ready to fight as a last-minute opponent if Dillashaw missed weight. Johnson refused, questioning the UFC’s understanding of how fighters prepare for a fight.

“What is this?” Johnson said. “Is this f*cking amateur hour? This is the shit you do at smokers and amateur shows. … This is supposed to be the pinnacle of mixed martial arts and this is what we’re negotiating?”

Johnson wants to make it clear, too, that isn’t about Dillashaw personally. He would feel the same way about any other bantamweight contender coming down and jumping into a title fight. Johnson said he would perhaps make an exception for bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt if the money were right since that would be a champion vs. champion superfight.

“It’s just the principle of a bantamweight coming down and skipping the line,” Johnson said.

The court of public opinion is split on Johnson taking a stand. On one hand, close MMA followers do want to see the UFC stick to the rankings. On the other, Johnson has mowed down everyone in the flyweight division and Dillashaw is a fresh face, not to mention a former champ in another division.

The talks of Johnson ducking Dillashaw and the questioning of his legacy as one of the best fighters of all time is ludicrous, Johnson said. He doesn’t care about the opinion of fans, who “don’t know sh*t.”

“When somebody says you’ll tarnish your legacy, I say, ‘My legacy is in the back of my car,’” Johnson said. “My two children that I’m putting time and effort into. When i’m done my mixed martial arts career, the only people who are gonna remember me and respect what I did and how I lived my life are my two children. That’s my legacy, ladies and gentleman.

“People are already sh*tting on Jose Aldo’s legacy after he got knocked out by Max Holloway.”

Johnson spoke on this situation on The MMA Hour and also sent a statement to MMA Fighting on Monday, explaining what he feels are UFC bully tactics. Johnson said the UFC threatened to close the flyweight division if he didn’t fight Dillashaw.

“I’m just tired, I’m exhausted,” Johnson said. “I just felt this is the right time to do it, this way people understand my character and where that comes from, why I put my stance down, why I’m not fighting any bantamweight that comes down here and wants to get a title shot.”

The other thing bugging Johnson is Dana White’s usage of the media and social media to get his point across. He said he and the UFC president spoke at the UFC Athlete Retreat last month and the last he heard about the situation was from White on the UFC podcast Unfiltered. White said Johnson was fighting Dillashaw and he — not Johnson — was the one who decides the fights.

“I love fighting for the UFC,” Johnson said. “It’s an amazing company. I’ve done a lot of great things and they’ve done a lot of great things for my career.

“But I’m f*cking tired of seeing things about my career on Twitter. A phone call would be nice. Discuss it before you go out there saying all this stuff.”

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Demetrious Johnson: UFC threatened to fold flyweight division if I don’t fight T.J. Dillashaw

Demetrious Johnson doesn’t want to defend his UFC flyweight title against T.J. Dillashaw this summer for a number of reasons. He made that known to UFC president Dana White last month at the UFC Athlete Retreat.

According to Johnson, White replied that the UFC wants to make that fight and Dillashaw wants it. Johnson said White asked why he was denying Dillashaw the opportunity. That, Johnson told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, set “Mighty Mouse” off.

“You done f*cked up,” Johnson said of his thoughts at the time. “I’m done.”

Johnson believes he’s looking out for his own career and owes nothing to Dillashaw. He said he was stunned that White would ask him to put Dillashaw over himself.

“F*ck that,” Johnson said. “This isn’t TJ Dillashaw’s career. This is my career. This is how it’s going to f*cking happen.”

Since then, Johnson said he’s had some back and forth through his manager and coach Matt Hume and personally with UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard. One of the most recent things Maynard relayed to Johnson’s team, per Johnson, is that the UFC will fold the flyweight division if he doesn’t take the fight against Dillashaw.

“Mighty Mouse” said he’s ready to call the UFC’s bluff.

“I said close the mother f*cking division then,” Johnson said. “Because if somebody is willing to do that, that just shows you that they have no interest whatsoever of working with the champion. I never missed weight, always showed up on time, did all of my interviews on fight week, traveled to Australia in coach two times for the flyweight division. I’ve done a lot.”

Johnson, 30, tied the record for most title defenses in UFC history back in April with 10. One more successful defense and he’ll have broken Anderson Silva’s record. The Washington native is regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world and on the short list of the greatest of all time.

The UFC initially wanted Johnson to defend the belt against top contender Ray Borg in August. Johnson wanted Sergio Pettis next, because he’s a bigger name, per a statement Johnson sent to MMA Fighting on Monday morning. But Johnson did eventually agree to fighting Borg.

When UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt pulled out of a title defense against Dillashaw at UFC 213 on July 8 in Las Vegas, the UFC moved to put together Dillashaw and Johnson. Dillashaw would drop down to flyweight for the first time to challenge the longtime champ.

Johnson said no. Johnson said he wants to preserve the integrity of the flyweight rankings and not fight someone who has never competed in the division. Dillashaw has never made 125 pounds and if he misses weight then the fight won’t be a title defense, so Johnson won’t be going for the record.

In response, Johnson told the UFC that if Dillashaw misses weight he still wants his full purse as well as Dillashaw’s purse and the fight would be off. The UFC, Johnson said, told him that wouldn’t happen, but Borg would be on the card and ready to fight Johnson if Dillashaw missed weight.

“Mighty Mouse” said he felt like that was a show of disrespect to the preparation process of MMA. How could he agree to a fight against someone he hasn’t trained to compete against?

“What is this?” Johnson told Helwani. “Is this f*cking amateur hour? This is the sh*t you do at smokers and amateur shows. … This is supposed to be the pinnacle of mixed martial arts and this is what we’re negotiating?”

With no agreement seemingly close, Johnson said the UFC tried to leverage him by saying it would close up the division he has prevailed over since its beginning in 2012. Johnson said he’d move on and get another job, move up to bantamweight or go fight for another promotion if that is the case. He won’t budge.

“I respect the UFC saying, ‘Hey, we’re gonna close your f*cking division, take T.J. to fight,’” Johnson said. “Sounds good. Here’s my stance: Go ahead and f*cking close it. Like I respect them being honest and straightforward with it. But don’t expect me to be, ‘OK, I’ll take the TJ fight if you’re gonna close my division.’ No, no, no, no. That’s not how it works. What have I been doing the last five years in this division? Trying to make it the best division in the world.”

Johnson said he believed Maynard when he was told the UFC would do that. He had no reason not to. Johnson thinks the UFC is willing to do it.

“I had to believe him,” Johnson said. “I was standing my ground. I’m a black-and-white type of dude. If you say something, I believe you’re gonna do it. When he told me that, I was like, ‘Alright, if that’s how you guys want to treat me and say that and close my division after I’ve been playing ball the whole time and defending my title, go ahead.’ They showed they had no interest in having that division.”

A request for comment sent to the UFC on Monday afternoon was not immediately returned.

Johnson and the UFC disagree about the money-making potential of the flyweight division, Johnson said. Johnson believes if the UFC put more money and resources into promoting the division, it would sell better. He has had a hard time drawing pay-per-view buys as champion and the UFC has not given him a share of the pay-per-view revenue in any of his fights.

The UFC did promise to give him pay-per-view points against Dillashaw. But Johnson doesn’t plan on backing down. He believes he’s doing the right thing for himself, the division and the sport, trying to make the rankings matter.

Johnson said he doesn’t know how the UFC will take it. He maintained that it has nothing to do with Dillashaw personally and he’d have the same take if it were another 135-pounder coming down.

“I have no idea,” Johnson said. “I’ll tell you what’s gonna happen: I’m not fighting another bantamweight. I’ll tell you that.”

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