Since winning the belt back last November at UFC 217, bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has been angling for a flyweight super-fight against Demetrious Johnson. UFC president Dana White, however, shut down the mere idea of this fight, saying they are already working on an alternate matchup for Dillashaw.
But T.J.’s striking coach Duane Ludwig is not willing to give up on it just yet. In his recent appearance on The MMA Hour, “Bang” stated his case on why this fight should be made next.
“Since I’ve been helping TJ, our main goal and my main goal is to see how good we can get him,” Ludwig said (via MMA Fighting). “Right now, he is the best mixed martial artist that has ever walked Earth at 135 pounds. Demetrious is the best that has ever walked Earth at 125. So, it’s time to meet in the middle or we’ll meet at 125 and see who’s the best mixed martial artist.”
“Because for me personally, I am super fascinated with the development and the evolution of the human species and specifically in the subject of a martial artist. I want to find out how much exactly I know by testing that against Demetrious Johnson utilizing TJ’s skillset, as a martial arts enthusiast.”
One of the fights that the UFC presented to Dillashaw was a rematch against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 222, which the former already turned down to make way for the “Mighty Mouse” fight. According to Ludwig, the UFC’s decision to turn down this 125-pound super-fight could be because of favoritism.
“We have an entertainment company (Endeavor) buying a martial arts (promotion), fight business,” Ludwig said. “That’s what’s going on. That’s why we’re dealing with these certain situations. They spent a couple billion dollars buying the place, they’re trying to make some money back. … They’re still putting on good fights and doing a kick-ass job, I just think they need to take it in another direction and set up the fight with TJ and Demetrious.”
“They must really love Cody,” Ludwig added. “He doesn’t deserve a rematch. But the timing for that rematch wasn’t good for us, either.”
From his end, Mighty Mouse has yet to determine the timetable of his return, after undergoing shoulder surgery in January.