Well, you can count TJ Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt for the bantamweight belt out as a potential UFC 222 replacement main event.
The UFC has been scrambling to fill the big hole at the top of their March 3rd card after featherweight champ Max Holloway was forced to pull out of his title fight with Frankie Edgar. Cody Garbrandt was quick to step up and claim he’d already accepted a fight with TJ Dillashaw on that date, but now Dillashaw is shooting the match-up down in the most definitive terms possible.
”It took me two years to get a title shot back, now they want me to defend it on four weeks notice?” Dillashaw wrote in a statement to ESPN. “I have a five week old son. I’m not training. My camp is in California and I’m in Denver right now. And all this to face a guy who doesn’t deserve a rematch to begin with? I lost a split decision to Dominick Cruz when I lost my belt, the UFC told me they thought I won that fight and it still took me two years to get it back. I had to wait through Cody’s back injury last year, all of TUF bulls**t. I told the UFC I’m not doing it.”
”I’m shooting for the Demetrious Johnson fight in July.”
Word had just come out prior to Max Holloway’s injury that negotiations were underway for a champ vs champ fight with Dillashaw and flyweight Johnson at UFC 226, the same card headlined by light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier vs. heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Two double champ fights! The champ champ of fight cards!
With that amount of money and prestige coming up right around the corner, it’s no surprise that Dillashaw isn’t very interested in a shotgun attempt to save a thin UFC card. The stuff about his newborn son and Garbrandt not deserving it is just the icing on the ‘Not doing it’ cake, which is a creamy cake indeed.
. @Cody_Nolove Hey “smart” guy, through all your cussing and trash talk, wait till Kai is born and you get to hold him in your arms. Then see if you want to train for a fight on 4 weeks notice when your baby is a month old. #FAMILYFirst #HumbleYourself #URstillanidiot #KTFO pic.twitter.com/knfHkeCgI3— TJ Dillashaw (@TJDillashaw) February 3, 2018
We’ll keep you updated on any further potential replacements for UFC 222.