We don't know for certain whether or not a champion vs. champion superfight will be taking place on the UFC 226 card on July 7 in Las Vegas between bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and flyweight champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson. But what we do know now is that Dillashaw will not be stepping into the cage to defend his championship against former champ Cody Garbrandt at UFC 222 on March 3 in Las Vegas.
After reports began to surface that the UFC was looking into having the rematch to replace the UFC 222 main event which was cancelled earlier in the day, Dillashaw issued this statement to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, making it clear he's not interested in the proposed rematch.
The UFC was delivered a crushing blow on Saturday with the news that the scheduled UFC featherweight championship match for UFC 222 was off. The champion, Max Holloway, reportedly suffered a leg injury during training, so yet another fight with Frankie Edgar has been scrapped. Needing a replacement bout, it was reported the UFC was looking to present the bantamweight title rematch between Dillashaw and Garbrandt, but the champion was quick to point out he has zero interest in that happening.
Immediately following the news of Holloway vs. Edgar no longer happening, Garbrandt took to Twitter to express his desire to replace the featherweight title match on the card with a rematch against Dillashaw.
"Hey bang! Your fighter needed help to the stool after round one! You know what it is!" Garbrandt said in the tweet. "Lightning doesn't strike twice, take the f---ing fight b----ass mfers! I accepted! Balls in your court. @TJDillashaw"
Dillashaw and Garbrandt squared off at UFC 217 in November 2017, with Dillashaw becoming a two-time bantamweight champion when he emerged victorious via second-round TKO in what was a fun fight up until that point. The loss was Garbrandt's first of his mixed martial arts career.
While it's clear Dillashaw doesn't believe Garbrandt deserves a rematch at this point, especially on such short notice, it's also clear he has his sights set on one fight and one fight only in his immediate future -- the superfight with flyweight champion Johnson. While this showdown is not set in stone as of yet, both camps are reportedly trying to get a deal in place that would see these two get into the Octagon as part of the UFC 226 card on July 7.
Should an agreement be reached, the matchup would take place on the undercard of another champion vs. champion bout pitting light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier taking on heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.