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Duane Ludwig says T.J. Dillashaw will be two-division champion by 2018

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Barao vs Dillashaw 2 Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Now that UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt will no longer be defending his title opposite T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 213 this July, the promotion is aiming to pin Dillashaw up against flyweight king Demetrious Johnson sometime in August. While “Mighty Mouse” has momentarily pumped the brakes on the potential 125-pound clash, Dillashaw’s head coach, Duane Ludwig, has a very specific plan for his fighter moving forward.

“If there’s any time for TJ to drop down to 125, the sooner the better,” Ludwig recently told BJ Penn Radio . “He won’t be able to make ’25 as the years go on and he matures and gets bigger. If there’s any time to do it, it’s now.”

Dillashaw, 31, has never competed outside the bantamweight division in his entire seven-year professional career. If he can make a healthy cut to 125 pounds and meet Johnson on his own playing field, Dillashaw may be able to make history in the near future.

“He’s working with Sam Calavitta, who is a really good strength and conditioning coach who also has the dieting down,” Ludwig said. “So it’s working out well that we do fight Demetrious. We split up the camp to a month later [in August] and have more time to work with Sam Calavitta and get the weight down, get nice and strong at belt weight, get the belt, pop back up to 135 and get that belt either later in the year or next year.”

If Ludwig’s plan goes down without a hitch, Dillashaw will defeat “Mighty Mouse” this summer to claim the flyweight title and then jump back up to bantamweight and defeat Garbrandt for the belt this winter en route to becoming a two-division champion.

It’s a lofty goal, but one that’s certainly attainable considering Dillashaw has already proven to be championship material.

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