Dillashaw believes Johnson is destroying his reputation by opting not to fight him.
Whatever reasons Demetrious Johnson has for turning down a fight with T.J. Dillashaw, Dillashaw believes that ‘Mighty Mouse’ is ‘tarnishing’ his reputation by refusing to fight him.
Johnson, who is currently ranked as the pound-for-pound number one and is tied with Anderson Silva for the most title defenses in UFC history (10), released a powerful statement on Monday alleging that he is being bullied by Dana White and other UFC officials.
The undisputed flyweight champion said that White threatened to get rid of the entire flyweight division if he didn’t accept a championship bout with Dillashaw.
While Johnson’s reasons for turning the fight seem valid, based on the alleged mistreatment on behalf of the UFC, Dillashaw thinks ‘DJ’ is being a cry baby about the whole situation and is destroying his career in the process.
“Nothing else makes sense to me why he wouldn’t take the fight other than creating these excuses for him not having to say that he’s scared to fight me because he doesn’t want to lose his belt,” Dillashaw told Damon Martin of FOX Sports on the Fight Society podcast. “I respect Demetrious Johnson as a person, I like him, I like his wife, I like him but by him acting this way and turning down the fight, he’s really tarnishing his career and reputation in my eyes.
“You want to call yourself the greatest of all time and a challenge steps up for you to fight and you’re doing whatever you possibly can to avoid the fight, you’re looking like a cry baby really in my eyes.”
Dillashaw, 31, was expected to challenge current bantamweight champ and former teammate Cody Garbrandt for the title at UFC 213. Garbrandt, however, was forced to pull out of the pay-per-view due to injury and Dillashaw immediately began campaigning for a flyweight title shot against Johnson.
Johnson’s public statement against the UFC was likely used as leverage for future negotiations, and, despite his objections against fighting Dillashaw, it’s likely that both parties will reach an agreement in the coming weeks. Dillashaw is, without a doubt, the most high-profile opponent for Johnson and a flyweight title fight is the most lucrative financial option for all parties involved.