Though he was short on detail, UFC president Dana White on Saturday night said that the long-proposed superfight between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw is going to happen.
The fight had been proposed earlier in the year when then-bantamweight-champion Cody Garbrandt had to pull out of a planned fight with Dillashaw at UFC 200. Though Dillashaw was more than willing to drop down to 125 pounds to challenge the man many consider one of the Top 3 greatest fighters of all time, Johnson refused to take the fight.
Since that time, Johnson has defended his belt against Ray Borg and Dillashaw fought and defeated Garbrandt to win back the bantamweight belt.
Dillashaw hasn’t been shy about saying that he is ready and willing to make the drop to challenge at flyweight, but Johnson has been radio silent.
White now says the fight is going to happen.
“That fight’s gonna happen. That fight will happen. (Yeah, 100-percent) that fight is going to happen. We didn’t announce it yet,” White said at the UFC 218 post-fight press conference in Detroit.
The question came just as White was getting ready to leave the press conference, so there was no follow up, and he gave no detail as to when the bout might happen or what it took to get Johnson to come to an agreement.
Having noted “we didn’t announce it yet” would lead to the assumption that an announcement could be imminent.
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We’ve been down that road before, with White saying a bout was ready to go before all parties had fully signed off, so we’ll have to wait and see if all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, but it appears the UFC’s next champion vs. champion bout is coming soon.
The last time that happened was when Conor McGregor held the featherweight title and moved up to take the lightweight belt from Eddie Alvarez.