Ex-Champion T.J. Dillashaw vows to make UFC return if shoulder heals: ‘I’m still the best guy in the weight class’

T.J. Dillashaw plans to return to UFC if shoulder heals I'm still the best in the weight class

Former two-time undisputed bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw has revealed that he still hopes to make a return to the UFC, despite his recent retirement from active competition amid his devastating shoulder injury – claiming he is still currently the best bantamweight the promotion has to offer.

Dillashaw, a former two-time undisputed bantamweight champion under the banner of the UFC, most recently co-headlined UFC 280 back in October of last year in Abu Dhabi, UAE, suffering a one-sided second round ground strikes TKO loss to current titleholder, Aljamain Sterling – with his shoulder separating and dislocating throughout the opening and second round.

Prior to that, Dillashaw, who was slapped with a two-year retroactive suspension after testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO) after a 2019 flyweight title challenge loss to Henry Cejudo

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Making his return from a lengthy suspension, Angels Camp native, Dillashaw managed to earn his title charge against Sterling with a close split decision win over recent UFC Nashville headliner, Cory Sandhagen back in July 2021. 

And confirming his retirement from active competition following his ground strikes TKO loss to Uniondale native, Sterling, Dillashaw revealed he had yet to receive medical clearance to return to competition after undergoing shoulder surgery.

T.J. Dillashaw still plans UFC return if he gets medical clearance

However, according to the Bang Muay Thai striker, a return would most definitely be on the cards for him if he can finally land clearance.

“I didn’t want to retire,” T.J. Dillashaw said during an appearance on Jaxxon Podcast. “It’s been a real bitter thing. It’s been hard for me to be around the sport recently like even helping my training partner Juan Archuleta fighting in Japan in RIZIN for the belt. It’s been heard for me to wrap my head around being in the sport at the same time being focused out of it. Also, my career just kind of panned out the way it did towards the end – really just bitter, you know?”

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“I’m hoping – every doctor I’ve met, they’re all specialists on my shoulder, they’re all telling me they can’t put me back good enough to be able to fight again,” T.J. Dillashaw explained. “Doctors aren’t always right but I have to have a super-extensive shoulder surgery. What I’m waiting on right now are some cadaver parts. I need a cadaver shoulder head bone.”

And despite his one-sided loss to Serra-Longo MMA staple, Sterling, Dillashaw maintains he is still far ahead of his bantamweight peers.

“I know that I’m still the best guy in the weight class, by far,” T.J. Dillashaw explained. “For the sport to be taken from me the way that it was, it just doesn’t sit well with me… If the shoulder’s good, man, definitely I have to get back in there. I can’t let it go out the way it did.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)

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Would you like to see T.J. Dillashaw make a return to the UFC?