Sean O’Malley Questions How T.J. Dillashaw Deserves Immediate Title Shot


Polarizing UFC bantamweight contender, ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley has questioned why another dividing competitor, former two-time division titleholder, T.J. Dillashaw should receive an immediate shot at his former crown upon his return from a two-year suspension in January.

O’Malley, who is himself targeting a UFC 258 return on February 13 recently claimed that he was approached with a pairing opposite striking talent, Thomas ‘Thominhas’ Almeida — before stating that the Brazilian had rejected the bout agreement to meet him at the pay-per-view event

The Montana native suffered his first promotional blemish at UFC 252 in August — falling to a late first-round ground-and-pound flurry from surging bantamweight force, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera in their co-main event slot, having tweaked a prior ankle injury earlier in the frame.

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Speaking on his podcast, The Sugar Show recently, O’Malley questioned why some fans are praising Dillashaw’s admission of using EPO ahead of his January 2019 matchup with Henry Cejudo, before probing as to why he would deserve an immediate title shot upon his impending return.

How does this dude (T.J. Dillashaw) get caught cheating, stick a needle in his butt and then everyone’s like, ‘Oh, we respect him for coming out and admitting it,” O’Malley said. “What do you mean admitting it? He got caught straight-up cheating. There’s no, oh it could have been from this, it could have been this, it could have this, that, or the other, it was straight cheating and you’re giving him a title shot? But he did his two years [suspension]. I don’t know.

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While the promotion has yet to book the still suspended Dillashaw in a title fight, and are expected to push forward with plans for a rescheduled pairing of incumbent best Petr Yan and perennial contender Aljamain Sterling, Dillashaw has remained vocal that a bantamweight title tilt awaits him upon his Octagon return.

“I want that title fight right away,” Dillashaw said. “You’ve got a guy in Petr Yan who beat someone for the belt that is 0-2 in the division. Jose Aldo has two losses [at 135 pounds]; you beat him for the title and you’re calling yourself a champion? That belt has changed hands every fight. No one there has dominated. That’s my belt, and I want to come back to a title fight.” (via ESPN MMA)

Dropping his bantamweight title voluntarily, Dillashaw also suffered an opening-round knockout loss to the above-mentioned, Cejudo at UFC Fight Night Brooklyn in January of last year, as he challenged for flyweight gold. 

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In the weeks following the clash, the Bang Muay Thai trainee revealed that he had been notified by anti-doping agency, USADA, that they had come across “adverse findings” in his pre-fight drug test. Slapped with a two-year retroactive suspension from both the New York State Athletic Commission and USADA, Dillashaw had tested positive for the banned substance, Erythropoietin (EPO).