Former UFC bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw may still be suspended from competition until January 2021 – but according to the Bang Muay Thai trainee, he’s been informed by the UFC that upon his return to the Octagon, he will receive a title opportunity.
Dillashaw, a two-time 135-pound champion, recently revealed in an interview with MMA Junkie, how he had been informed by the organisation that he would be instated into a title match when he returns to the Octagon – something he’s not exactly sure will happen, however.
“I was told I’d get a title fight when I came back, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Dillashaw said. “I made a mistake – I don’t own rights to anything. But, if it was my choice, it would be a title fight, if not, top-five to prove I should get that title fight. I think that makes sense. I’m hoping they just throw me to the dogs. If I can’t get that title fight, I want someone in the top-five so that I can get my title fight. I’m not here to play around. I want my belt back. It’s still mine. I’ll be ready. Now I guess I get the opportunity to be a three-time champion, which is absurd. I don’t feel like I should’ve lost it the first time [against Dominick Cruz]. I get to recapture it all over again. I get to go through this process a f**king third time.”
After Dillashaw revealed USADA had flagged his test for “adverse findings“, he voluntarily vacated the bantamweight championship – which was later won by the aforementioned Cejudo, who rallied to knock out Marlon Moraes. With his second reign ending in murky circumstances, Dillashaw has undone a significant amount of work toward his own personal legacy. The former Team Alpha MMA trainee claimed the title for a second time via a knockout of arch-rival, Cody Garbrandt, before again stopping the Ohio native with strikes in a rematch.
The 34-year-old TUF alumni managed a shocking knockout of the then pound-for-pound summit chaser, Renan Barão – before similarly to Garbrandt, winning in a rematch. Dillashaw defended against Joe Soto in between. In his third professional defeat, Dillashaw dropped a hugely close split decision to the returning, Dominick Cruz, losing the bantamweight crown.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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