A “super fight” between current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and Bantamweight ruler, T.J. Dillashaw, seems to be on track for a summer showdown.
It’s a fight many fans have been clamoring to see, including UFC president Dana White, and TJ,’s head coach, Duane Ludwig. For “Bang” — who has been training T.J. for nearly five years — his eagerness to put the fight together is simply to prove his star pupil is the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter walking the face of the earth.
“We’ve trained from day one to be the best. Now we’re at the point. I keep saying we, I’ve put a lot of time into T.J., but I don’t want to take anything away from him, but since I have been helping T.J., my main goal and our main goal is to see how good we could get him,” said Duane on a recent edition of the MMA Hour.
“Right now, he is the best mixed martial artist that has ever walked this earth at 135 pounds. Demetrious is the best mixed martial artist that has ever walked the earth at 125. So, it’s time to meet in the middle and we will meet at 125 to see who is the best mixed martial artist,” he added.
“Because for me personally, I am super fascinated with the development and the evolution of the human species and specifically in the subject of martial arts. So I want to find out exactly how much I know by testing that against Demetrious Johnson, utilizing T.J.’s skill set as a martial arts enthusiast. But as T.J.’s coach, I just want to make sure T.J. is doing all that he can to be the best he can be.”
When asked if he thought Dillashaw was the best in the world regardless of weight class, Duane doubled down.
“Yes,” he said, adding that his star pupil is improving every fight. “Each and every session are goals are to improve and he improves each and every day. Who knocked Cody out in the second round? Who ran through Renan Barao twice? T.J. is on another level,” proclaimed Duane.
Dillashaw reclaimed the 135-pound title at UFC 217 by knocking out former training partner Cody Garbrandt (see it), handing “No Love” his first-ever defeat. As “Bang” alluded to, T.J. was also the man to break Renan’s incredible 32-fight win streak at UFC 173, and then proceeded to knock him out again a year later.
But in a sport that has the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Georges St-Pierre, and Stipe Miocic still doing their thing, proclaiming “Viper” to be above them all is a bold statement to say the least.
That said, you can’t expect anything less from a proud head coach.
“When his mind is right, and he’s got some really good people around him now that he did not have around him before that are making a drastic difference and I don’t know if they are getting the credit they deserve like Sam Calavitta from the Treining Lab, who is a genius and he has T.J. in the best shape of his life and it translates over to our sessions.”
Should T.J. lock down a fight against “Mighty Mouse” and ultimately defeat him and end his title defense streak at 11, Ludwig feels it will be all the confirmation he needs. Johnson, however, says even if he loses to T.J. that simply won’t be the case until Dillashaw does what he’s done over the last seven years.