Former UFC Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has stated that he will be fighting for the bantamweight title next and that he is the no.1 contender in the division. After the two-year hiatus due to USADA suspension, Dillashaw was scheduled to face Cory Sandhagen as the main event for UFC on ESPN: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw on July 24, 2021. Dillashaw won the fight via split decision. The decision was referred to as controversial as many believe that Cory had won the fight as he did more damage than Dillashaw. Now TJ is recovering from knee surgery and plans that when he comes back he will be fighting for the title.
The current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterlin who won the belt from Petr Yan due to DQ was supposed to rematch him. The fight got scrapped as sterling pulled out of the fight due to injury. Yan will now be fighting Cory for the interim champion. Many believe that the winner of Yan and Cory will be the new champion as many fans don’t consider Sterling as a legit champion as he won the belt via DQ. But TJ Dillashaw has his own mindset as he feels he is a real champion and not them.
“I don’t even know if Aljo’s ever going to come back to be honest,” TJ Dillashaw said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “From what he had done, it’s kind of crazy. If I was him, I would have waited to get that done. My coaches, my strength and conditioning coach as well as my wrestling coach, sells the medical equipment that did his neck, don’t believe he’s ever going to come back.”
“I think he’s just holding onto this belt as long as he can. I’ve had that feeling already so when he pulled out of the fight, I wasn’t surprised. I bet he’s dealing with nerve damage. I bet he’s dealing with a lot of stuff. You go get your neck cranked on with what he’s had done, it’s definitely not good. We’ll see. I could be completely wrong but I don’t know if he’s ever going to come back.”
“I didn’t lose my belt due to a loss,” TJ Dillashaw said. “I lost my belt due to the decision I made and they had to vacate it. So when these guys are talking about they’re feeling like they’re going to be the true champion even though [Cory Sandhagen] goes out and beats [Petr] Yan. No, because Yan was never the true champion. He never beat the champion in the bantamweight division to actually become a champion.
“So there was never a real linear champion anyways and now they’re fighting for an interim belt. I already proved myself. I came back, I came off a two year layoff, fought the No. 1 contender. That title fight’s mine when I come back.”
TJ Dillashaw says he is next in line for a title shot
“From what I’ve been told, I’m fighting for the belt next,” Dillashaw said. “No matter when that belt is. So that’s kind of where my mindset’s at right now, but sh*t it’s Jose Aldo.
“Jose Aldo to me is an all-time legend. It’s hard to not think about taking a fight if it’s offered to you, but I’m fighting for the belt next, is what I’ve been told.”
It will be interesting to see how the UFC’s most stacked Bantamweight division plays out in the coming months.
- TJ Dillashaw talks about the bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling
- TJ Dillashaw says he never lost the belt
- TJ Dillashaw reveals that he is next in line for the title shot
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