TJ Dillashaw Wants His Title Back
Earlier in the year, former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw admitted to doping when led to a failed USADA test. Accepting the punishment, Dillashaw voluntarily relinquished the bantamweight championship after USADA and the New York State Athletic Commission found EPO. Dillashaw began his 12-month suspension on January 19th, 2019, which is the day he lost to Cejudo at UFC Brooklyn.
Now, Dillashaw is back in headlines for stating that when he returns, he would like a chance to regain his title.
Dillashaw spoke with Helen Yee for a short interview surrounding the Bellator 228 media day. Speaking about his return, TJ told the world that he wants another shot at the title that he relinquished.
Even though Uriah Faber wants a crack at TJ, it seems like Dillashaw has other plans in mind for his return. Instead of easing his way back into the octagon to get reacclimated, TJ would rather regain what he believes is rightfully his.
“That is my weight class, I had to give that belt up and fair enough, I understand,” Dillashaw said. “I f****d up, and I had to relinquish it. But, I didn’t lose. That’s my belt, I’m still calling it my belt. I’m still the champion of the world. When I come back I will reclaim it.”
State of the Bantamweight Division
The likelihood of TJ coming back from a one-year layoff and immediately getting a title shot seem slim. Especially with contenders like Aljamain Sterling, Cory Sandhagen, Petr Yan, and Song Yadong on the rise. Moreso, legends like Dominick Cruz and Uriah Faber are also both ranked in the top 15 of the division.
Although Dillashaw wants the fast track to the title, the truth is he might have to wait his turn. But, we’ve seen crazier matchmaking happen in the UFC.
Bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo suffered a shoulder injury after his last bout that required surgery. The injury forced Cejudo to remain inactive until 2020.
If TJ can come back and rattle of a few wins, maybe he’ll end up with an interim title of his own.