If you ask the mixed martial arts community who the most dangerous fighter in the game is, you will hear a variety of different answers. You will likely hear names such as Miocic, Werdum, Overeem, Cormier, and Jones. There is even a chance you may hear the name Bisping mentioned (that is if you ask Michael Bisping, of course). It is highly unlikely anyone will mention the fighter who is truly the most dangerous because that man stands only 5 feet 6 inches tall and 135 pounds. That man is none other than TJ Dillashaw (Cue the haters here). A man’s success can often be measured up by how many people want to see him fail. For TJ Dillashaw, this list seems to be growing by the day.
To me, TJ seems like a pretty likable guy. He speaks well in front of the camera, never makes headlines for the wrong reasons, works extremely hard at his craft, and always puts on a show for the fans. The reality of the matter is almost every fighter in the UFC that is TJ’s size is scared to death of him. When I use the word scared, I do not mean they are afraid of what might happen to them physically. Anyone in professional MMA is a warrior. Fear of physical damage is non-existent if you have stepped into the cage. What I am referring to in this instance is that they are scared of what TJ will do to their career. Look at Renan Barao. Barao was the Bantamweight Champion of the World and near the top of every P4P list. Then TJ stepped into the cage as a massive underdog and dominated every round before scoring a TKO in the 5th. TJ didn’t stop there, in their second matchup he put on a clinic that not only finished Barao faster than the previous, but crippled his career as well. Dillashaw experienced a slight hiccup in a split decision loss of the title to Dominick Cruz, a fight many would argue he won, but that has only made him more dangerous. He is hungry and looks significantly improved each time he steps into the cage. Chael Sonnen recently stated on his podcast, “The TJ Dillashaw that fought John Lineker is the best fighter MMA has ever seen”. If anyone knows dangerous, it’s the American Gangster from West Linn, Oregon.
When the news broke of Cody Garbrandt pulling out with an injury, I wasn’t surprised. I am sure the injury is legitimate, I am not questioning that. In Cody’s position, as an undefeated champion who dethroned the greatest Bantamweight ever for the title and instantly catapulted to stardom, he would be insane to take the fight with even something as minor as a sprained toe. TJ is that dangerous, if your not 100% you have no chance. Now with the Garbrandt the fight cancelled, Dana White announced plans for a Flyweight title match between Johnson and Dillashaw. Soon after these plans were released, DJ channelled his inner Patches O’Houlihan and the dodging, ducking, dipping, diving, and dodging hit the Twittersphere:
I don’t blame DJ, he is currently the consensus #1 P4P fighter on the planet. He is one win away from becoming the most dominant champion in UFC history. This fight makes the 11th defense a lot more difficult. On the other hand, don’t ask for a $1 million dollar pay day for fighting Ray Borg. If you want the big money, you need to take the big fights no matter how dangerous to your legacy they may be. DJ wasn’t the only one to weigh in on the topic however. Garbrandt also criticized Dillashaw even though he is the reason this topic started being discussed in the first place:
This is just another example of Cody and Team Alphamale hating on TJ’s success after the split. Dillashaw is 31 years old and in the prime of his career. In MMA there is no guarantee of tomorrow and a very short average career span. Dillashaw waiting on the shelf for Garbrandt would be foolish for him and a disservice to the fans. TJ deserves a title shot and a big check. The fans deserve elite fighters facing off for real belts, not interim ones. I love watching all of the Team Alphamale fighters in the cage, but it is time to stop criticizing Dillashaw for advancing his own career, or maybe it’s just the fear speaking.
At the end of the day there is only one thing that’s for sure…
Nobody wants a piece of TJ Dillashaw.