In fact, after months of ignoring Dillashaw’s public calls for a champ vs. champ fight, ‘DJ’ has finally spoken out and believes it’s the fight everyone wants to see.
“It’s the superfight everyone wants,” Johnson told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a recent interview. “I think TJ and I are both on board. We just want to make sure it’s on a stacked card. We want to make sure we can benefit from a good pay-per-view buy. I think I deserve it, and I think he deserves it.”
Johnson, however, would ideally like to fight Dillashaw on the main card rather than in the main event. Both ‘Mighty Mouse’ and bantamweight champ Dillashaw would make more money fighting on the main card of a blockbuster pay-per-view, preferably headlined by a mega-star like Conor McGregor, Georges St-Pierre, or Cris Cyborg.
“I’d rather have somebody else main event, [someone] who is going to bring in way more PPVs. In my opinion, that’s held up the fight on my end. I’ve seen guys jump on [stacked] PPV cards and make $1.5 million, fighting an inferior opponent than who I’m about to fight. Me and TJ could fight on a smaller card and pull 275,000 buys, get an extra check for $75,000. My management told me, ‘You know what, we’ll hold out for a big event.’”
Johnson, who is currently ranked as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, can understand media and fan criticism but believes he is making the right financial move for his career.
”A lot of media and fans think that’s a way of turning down fights or ducking someone, but that’s a way of being a smart businessman and getting the most money you can get... I’ll wait for that opportunity, because in that one card, I’ll basically make more money than three fights -- a year and a half of my life -- [combined].”
The reigning flyweight champ likes the idea of a stacked pay-per-view with three title fights on the same night.
“If we can get three title fights - a champions vs. champions edition - that should do well,” Johnson said. “If they did Georges St-Pierre vs. Tyron Woodley, Amanda Nunes vs. [Cris] Cyborg and me vs. TJ, they can send me the contract. They can negotiate that contract now.”
Johnson, who has gone on to defend his flyweight championship a record-breaking eleven times, believes he has earned the right to make certain demands and is even willing to be stripped of the title if the UFC doesn’t play ball.
”I’m not going to sit here and f**king argue. ‘This is what I want. If you’re not going to give it to me, that’s fine. I’ll just keep fighting guys in my division. You want to strip me? Fine, perfect. Strip me. I’ll work my way back up the ladder.’
”I’ve beat everyone in my division. Now I’m waiting for my opportunity to be on the kind of card that makes that kind of money. And I’m not trying to piggyback off anyone else. I feel I bring a lot to the table - 11 title defenses. I should get that opportunity. If people disagree, that’s their problem. That’s what I feel I am worth.”
While Johnson would like to feature on the same card as Georges St-Pierre and Cris Cyborg, the 31-year-old could be enticed by the upcoming UFC 223 PPV on April 7. With Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk set as headlining bouts, a third title fight between Johnson and Dillashaw would be a strong addition to an already stacked event.