T.J. Dillashaw swiftly responded to Demetrious Johnson’s lengthy statement deriding the negotiation tactics of UFC in which Johnson stated a refusal to fight Dillashaw.
Johnson felt he was being strong-armed to take a fight with Dillashaw, a former UFC bantamweight champion, but did not deem him worthy of an immediate flyweight title shot due to his lack of a history at 125 pounds and the risk of Dillashaw not making weight. UFC was adamant on making the fight and UFC President Dana White even threatened to scrap the entire flyweight division if Johnson didn’t accept a fight with Dillashaw.
Dillashaw prodded “Mighty Mouse” with a tweet featuring a picture of the cartoon Mighty Mouse alongside a picture of Minnie Mouse. The caption read “Mini [sic] Mouse or Mighty Mouse? Don’t be scared! This is the fight game, I’ve takin [sic] title fights on 24hrs notice. I’m already waking up at 143lbs.”
Johnson wrote that he had been given a guarantee that Dillashaw could make the flyweight limit of 125 pounds but if he should fail, Ray Borg, who Johnson had previously agreed to fight, would step up to fight Johnson on short notice. Dillashaw once fought Joe Soto on 24 hours notice after scheduled opponent Renan Barao was forced to pull out due to complications from his weight cut. Soto was scheduled to make his UFC debut on the same card in a preliminary bout.
While there’s much more at play than Johnson just taking Dillashaw’s bait, it sure looks like the idea of a Johnson-Dillashaw fight isn’t going to go away quietly.
Mini Mouse or Mighty Mouse? Dont be scared! This is the fight game, I've takin title fights on 24hrs notice. I'm already waking up at 143lbs pic.twitter.com/5TMS8zbXAX
— TJ Dillashaw (@TJDillashaw) June 5, 2017
Hiscoe’s Analysis: While I understand Johnson’s hesitation to take the fight, he could train for a record breaking title defense and have it not come to fruition due to his opponent not making weight, it is still a more marketable fight than anything immediately on the horizon in the 125-pound division. This is a concept that seems to be lost on Johnson. Johnson’s idea or “marketable” has more to do with in-cage qualifications and achievements, while what has traditionally sold well for UFC and prize fighting overall, has less to do with wins and losses.
It’s not fair of Dillashaw to compare his experience taking a fight with Joe Soto on short notice to expecting Johnson to train for a fight with Dillashaw with the potential for a short notice fight with Ray Borg hovering over him. Ray Borg is a top contender at flyweight and a deserving challenger where Soto was an unknown name thrown in to save a show because there wasn’t a better option. Soto had little to no chance of winning that fight, although he did put on a good showing that night.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-New UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway received a welcome homecoming when he returned to Hawaii yesterday. Holloway posted a video of him walking the streets of Waianae with his championship belt being greeted and applauded by fans.
-Mark Hunt appeared on yesterday’s edition of “The MMA Hour” and was critical of UFC for allowing Alistair Overeem to use an IV prior to their UFC 209 fight that Overeem won by third round knockout. Overeem said at the time he was permitted to use the IV due to a bout of food poisoning. “I don’t believe he was sick at all,” Hunt said. “He made sh– up, and they said, ‘Oh, here, have an IV. Give you a bit more help.’” (SOURCE)
-TMZ has obtained video of War Machine’s sentencing for assaulting Christy Mack and her boyfriend. Mack told the court “I do know that when he gets out he will kill me.” War Machine will be eligible for parole in 36 years when he will be 71. (SOURCE)
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 6/5: Demetrious Johnson says he’s done being company man, making waves (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)