TJ Dillashaw.

TJ Dillashaw breaks down why he turned down title defense at UFC 222

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UFC bantamweight champion DJ Dillashaw has his focus on one fight.

That fight is against UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and thus the reason he decided not to fight at UFC 222.

Johnson and UFC President Dana White frequently exchanged words in early 2017. Johnson was not receptive to a fight with Dillashaw even though White and other UFC officials were pushing for it.

White came out and mocked Johnson for taking it.

This led to Johnson firing back and claimed that White threatened to shut down his entire division.

White denied that and gave Johnson the fight he wanted, which was against Ray Borg that was almost guaranteed to do low PPV numbers.

Apparently, though, that’s water under the bridge as White has gone on record by stating that this is a fight that will happen.

The promotion wanted Dillashaw to fight at UFC 222 in the main event in his first title defense against former champion Cody Garbrandt.

However, he wasn’t having any of it as he opened up the reason he didn’t take the fight during a recent episode of The MMA Hour.

“They just kinda wanted me to save the card, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to,” Dillashaw said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I’m dealing with some injuries that I was trying to keep quiet, but they kept hammering on me and hammering on me to take this fight. But I just wasn’t healthy. It’s not only to take a fight on four weeks’ notice, but also being injured and I haven’t been training and (recently) having a kid put a wrench in that whole thing too.

“It was a no-brainer, man. I mean, they kept trying to ask me to do it, but yeah, it was a no-brainer. I just knew it wasn’t the time.

“They thought I was, like, maybe holding back for more money or whatever it is,” Dillashaw added. “But it just came down to not being healthy.”

“I feel good about it,” Dillashaw said. “The reason why I’m so shredded at 135 is because I’m a professional athlete. I do everything the correct way. I put weight on to lose it. So I’ll do the exact same thing — I’ll just train my body differently. I’m already doing that. I’m not going too crazy because nothing’s official and I don’t want to get myself too low and have to worry about coming back up, but I’m normally waking up at 154 pounds in the morning when I’m fighting at 135. As of now, I’m waking up at 147. I’m lean and in shape.

“(I’m dealing with) some injuries, but other than that, I feel great about it. It’s something that, when I was told the first time I was fighting Demetrious, like I said, I was waking up at 140 pounds. That’s only a little cut for me, so I’m feeling great about it. I’m a small ‘35er as is. I don’t cut much weight to make 135. Like I said, I put the weight on to cut it, so it’s something that I’m excited to do. I’m excited to see the transformation. What it really comes down to is that I believe I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and to do that, I need to beat the best. And I can make his weight class.”

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Dana White
TJ Dillashaw

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