Although the UFC is reportedly looking to book a bantamweight championship rematch between T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt, the fight on everyone’s lips is a flyweight champ vs. champ bout between Demetrious Johnson and Dillashaw.
Dillashaw, the current bantamweight champ, believes a super-fight against reigning flyweight title-holder and p4p No. 1 ‘Mighty Mouse’ would determine the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Johnson, however, doesn’t think Dillashaw should even be in the discussion, citing the champ’s first-round scare against Garbrandt at UFC 217 and his losses to Dominick Cruz and John Dodson.
“I think the reason I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world is I beat everyone in my division,” Johnson told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto while promoting EA Sports’ UFC 3 . “He’s had close fights with guys in his division, like Raphael Assuncao. Dominick Cruz beat him. His last fight, against Cody [Garbrandt], 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, 31, is undefeated at flyweight and has defended his 125-pound title a record-breaking eleven times. Dillashaw, on the other hand, a two-time bantamweight champion, has only ever defended his title twice.
“I’ve been a champion for five years. He hasn’t been a champion for a year yet,” Johnson stated. “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.”
Johnson believes a fighter’s pound-for-pound status should be measured by longevity as champion and overall dominance in the sport.
“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.”
Johnson is determined to defend his title against Dillashaw and is even willing to be stripped of the belt if the UFC don’t book it.