UFC Futures: Johnson vs Dillashaw Will Be UFC's Greatest "Superfight"
Johnson vs Dillashaw: A True Superfight
The UFC rankings page has Johnson firmly entrenched at the top spot of the pound-for-pound rankings while Dillashaw hovers at six. Johnson most recently broke the great Anderson Silva's title defence record in style when he pulled off a suplex-to-armbar move against Ray Borg to capture his 11th straight defence of his flyweight title.
Dillashaw regained his bantamweight championship by knocking out former teammate Cody Garbrandt in a furious back-and-forth. With the win, Dillashaw extended his bantamweight wins record to 11. After his win, Dillashaw called out Johnson challenging him to a champion versus champion "superfight".
Originally teased back in 2015, Dana White confirmed Dillashaw's challenge promising he would make the fight happen. Although Johnson asked for a steep price of $2 million to fight Dillashaw, he might be more open to fighting him now that he holds the UFC's most prestigious record.
We examine how both champions match-up with all betting odds from Bodog.
Johnson vs Dillashaw Fight Breakdown and Betting Odds
The champ comes in as a slight favourite at -130 but if and when the fight happens, expect the line to tighten up as Dillashaw (+100) seems like an odd underdog here. The accolades Johnson has accumulated is intimidating to any opponent: most successful title defences, eight postfight bonuses, and the 2017 ESPY Fighter of the Year. He's done it all but against 125 lb. fighters.
Dillashaw ain't too shabby himself. He's the two-time bantamweight champion and has seven postfight bonuses with two fewer fights than Johnson. Most importantly, his only losses since his UFC debut were contentious split decisions, which many media members awarded him the fight. In Dillashaw's mind, his winning streak is just as long as Johnson's and it's against 135 lb. fighters.
There's a reason Johnson asked for a ridiculous fee to fight Dillashaw: he is by far his most difficult opponent and the fact Dillashaw is an underdog only makes him more dangerous.
Johnson and coach Matt Hume have formed an athlete-coach duo along the lines of Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick of the NFL. Hume helped Johnson improve dramatically. Johnson seems to get better each fight and is so far ahead of the competition he hasn't shown everything he's capable of. Johnson is a near-perfect fighter: striking, wrestling, grappling, and in the clinch, he has it all.
What makes Johnson so good is his speed. Johnson is just a step or two ahead of everyone. He has one of the strongest mental games in MMA. At no point has Johnson panicked even when he gets into tough spots like in his first bout against John Dodson, where he got dropped twice or when the bigger Tim Elliott made him work.
You'll have to go as far back as 2011 to find Johnson's last loss: when then-bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz outwrestled him. Still, the much-smaller Johnson outstruck Cruz and gave him a fight. Against Dillashaw, Johnson will also have a size disadvantage and will fight someone who is almost as complete as him.
Dillashaw transformed himself into one of the UFC's most prolific strikers. Dillashaw's footwork, unlimited arsenal of weapons, and deep relationship with one of MMA's most brilliant coaches, Duane Ludwig makes him nigh-unbeatable. His 5.26 strikes landed per minute to 2.91 strikes absorbed per minute is unheard of and this is against the best 135 has to offer.
If any fighter has the ability to not only bring out the best in Johnson but defeat him, it's Dillashaw. Cruz and Elliott showed that a larger fighter can give Johnson trouble especially when it comes to grappling. Dillashaw is a former NCAA Division I wrestler. If he keeps the fight standing, he has the technique, mobility, and speed to keep up with Johnson.
This fight is too good to pass and is a superfight in every sense. Even if both fighters' star power is obvious only to the hardcore fanbase, the two should produce a classic that will elevate their statuses and solidify them as mainstream stars.
Johnson versus Dillashaw: champion versus champion. Please make it happen, Uncle Dana!
Betting on UFC/MMA Futures
Once this superfight happens, it will garner interest among MMA's most passionate fanbase and bettors alike. Online sportsbooks are open to Canadians and offer signup bonuses for new players making it easy for even casual players to get involved. Fights like this don't happen often and studying it closely isn't just fun but could even yield plenty of profit.
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