TJ Dillashaw To Have Shoulder Surgery Following UFC 280 Loss, Out For ‘Another Year’

Dillashaw talks the timeframe of his recovery and return.

Dillashaw 280
(via ESPN MMA - YouTube)

It looks like we won’t be seeing TJ Dillashaw for quite a while. 

The former UFC Bantamweight Champion went out on his sword at UFC 280 after refusing to pull out of his title fight following a shoulder injury suffered in training camp. Dillashaw would pay the ultimate price for this, having his shoulder pop out twice in the fight and being absolutely dominated on the ground by current champ Aljamain Sterling

It would take two rounds for Sterling to get Dillashaw out of there, getting the TKO by way of ground and pound. 

On The Sidelines

Now it’s back to the drawing board for Dillashaw, who has to map out his long road to recovery and return. The first thing on the list for the two-time champ will be surgery on his shoulder. This will be his third shoulder surgery since 2019, with two of them being on his left shoulder. 

“Another year,” Dillashaw told ESPN, regarding his time-frame. “Nine months until I can start training rough and tough, and then making sure everything is healed up. I’ve had shoulder surgery before and I’d say another year, maybe, to compete. Either a year to compete, or a year to get back to a training camp.”

Not The First Time

Entering a fight with an existing injury is nothing new for Dillashaw. The 36 year-old revealed this has happened on multiple occasions throughout his career, with some of those being against rival Cody Garbrandt. The experience in the matter led Dillashaw to discuss with the referee beforehand at UFC 280.

“I’ve done that in many other fight camps before,” Dillashaw continued. “I did talk to the referee beforehand, and this shoulder was worse than when I fought [Cody Garbrandt in 2017 and 2018] but it was something I’ve dealt with. I told [the referee] not to stop the fight because I would get it back in its socket. I was expecting to get it back in while I was fighting.”

Dillashaw Admits He ‘Messed Up’ Post-Fight Speech

Dillashaw would point out the injury right after losing to Sterling in Abu Dhabi. However, he’s not proud of how he handled his post-fight interview, which partially took away from the champ’s dominant title defense. 

“I messed up in my after speech. It’s so hard to say exactly what you want to say in that moment, in agony of defeat, something I didn’t plan on talking about. I wasn’t going to talk about my shoulder being messed up but I didn’t mean to say this has been happening. I apologize to the weight class for taking a spot, but I meant to say, ‘I’m sorry I took this spot, but I believed I was going to get it done’. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have taken it.

“There’s never ever if I am going into a fight, thinking I’m going to lose.”

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