With a potential superfight with Demetrious Johnson seemingly unlikely to happen anytime soon, UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw will have to be content with a title defence against rival Cody Garbrandt.
Dillashaw told reporters that he has no idea why the much-touted bout with flyweight champ Johnson has so far failed to materialise.
“I don’t really know,” said the 32-year old. “I think that’s a good question for Demetrious Johnson.”
“Maybe he wanted some guaranteed money. Maybe he wasn’t willing to gamble on himself on the pay-per-view numbers. But as far as I was concerned, the fans wanted it, the UFC wanted it. Everyone knows I wanted it.”
Instead Dillashaw will have to make do with a rematch against former bantam champion and fierce rival Garbrandt at UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles.
It is a fight that Dillashaw said he is happy to take.
“I love getting rich for knocking Cody out,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of holes I didn’t show as well in his game when I finished him in the second round.”
“I still believe those same openings will be there. I don’t think he’s an intelligent fighter to switch up what he does.
“It’s a lot different this time. He can’t be such a jerk – he just got finished. For as much crap as he talked, he deserves to get his ass kicked again.”
Dillashaw added that despite the wait, he is still keen to fight Johnson.
“I respect Demetrious Johnson as a person and as an athlete and that’s kind of why I was chasing him down,” he said.
“He’s got that target on his back. He’s got that pound-for-pound spot that I want to come in and take.
“Not only to make the big bucks on a big fight, but for the legacy. Chasing that spot down.
So really I think it’s a question for him why it didn’t really happen.”
“He’s got that spot and I’m looking to take it. Our fight is ahead of us that we gotta worry about. And we’ll talk about it after the fight.”