This has been a crazy week for the UFC, as a feud between Featherweight Champion Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw has erupted. Johnson wants nothing to do with it, as he instead prefers to face off against someone else in order to surpass the title defense record, which is currently held by former Welterweight Champion Anderson Silva.
Earlier this week, Johnson went on Reddit to voice out his frustration with the UFC, White, and Dillashaw. In a summarized statement made by Johnson, he went on to say the following:
“It’s unfortunate that White continues to act as if it’s his way on the highway when it comes to negotiating with fighters and foisting unfair deals with them. Johnson, by all accounts, has been a model employee during his dominant reign atop the division. He is even on the verge of UFC history if he can make one more title defense, but even that status and level of accomplishment is lost on White if he can’t get his way.”
A few days later, Dillashaw went on to voice out his own frustration against Johnson for not agreeing to a match between the two that White is currently trying to make happen. Dillashaw went on to say the following:
“I understand where he’s coming from with some of it but a lot of it was a slap in the face to me as well. Trying to say that I don’t really deserve a title shot which I think is complete bull crap. I don’t think there’s anybody in his weight class right now to push him and I’m healthy, I’m in shape, I’m already in the process – because Dana told me that’s who I’m fighting – of dropping the weight class. I’m waking up at 143 pounds in the morning so that’s a very, very reachable goal. So for him to go and discredit my name and the things that I’ve accomplished just to not be worthy of a title shot kind of pissed me off a little bit. And it’s kind of embarrassing to have him go and call himself the GOAT, to be the greatest of all time and turning down fights because he’s scared to fight. He can say whatever he wants to say about all his other issues he has and being bullied – which, I don’t understand how the greatest of all time gets bullied – but it all comes down to him being scared of me beating him. He knows that I’m a bad matchup for him and that it’s a fight that he does not want.”
This all started when Cody Garbrandt pulled out of his fight against Dillashaw, originally scheduled for UFC 213 for the Bantamweight Championship. However, the bout was cancelled, due to Garbrandt experiencing back issues. This lead to White to throw together a match between Dillashaw and Johnson for the Featherweight Championship.
This feud has gone public, and I don’t believe it will end anytime soon. After Johnson spoke out, he received backlash from other fighters. Some even went on to change his nickname from “Mighty Mouse” to “Mighty Rat” for not agreeing to fight Dillashaw.
In my opinion, this is a feud that should be settled in the octagon. Johnson and Dillashaw are both great fighters. Dillashaw has been the Bantamweight Champion before, while Johnson has been the Featherweight Champion for seven years, including multiple defenses.
Even though Johnson is doubtful that Dillashaw can make the appropriate weight for the bout, Dillashaw has said otherwise, and that is what it will come down to if both men do face off.