Ex UFC champ TJ Dillashaw says title shot awaits after suspension
It was almost a year ago to the day that TJ Dillashaw was caught for doping, stripped of his title and suspended. It was a shocking revelation that the former bantamweight champion, praised for his intense conditioning and strong late rounds, tested positive for EPO. USADA suspended him for two years, as EPO can only be taken via injection. The original test was administered in January of last year in conjunction with his flyweight title bout with Henry Cejudo, which he lost via first round KO.
Now as nearly a year has passed since the revelation, Dillashaw is looking forward – And towards a title shot.
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“I was told I would get that title fight when I came back, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Dillashaw told MMA Junkie. “I made a mistake – I don’t own rights to anything. But if it was my choice, it would be title fight, if not top-five to prove I should get that title fight. I think that makes sense.
“I’m hoping they just throw me to the dogs. If I can’t get that title fight, I want someone in the top five so that I can get my title fight. I’m not here to play around. I want my belt back. It’s still mine. I’ll be ready.”
While the bout with Cejudo was the only one that Dillashaw tested positive for, doubt has been cast over his career. His back-to-back wins over Cody Garbrandt, which preceded the Cejudo fight, have also been questioned.
While Dillashaw receiving a title shot would certainly draw attention, it would also garner just as much critique. The UFC have not officially announced a title shot for Dillashaw, nor commented on the report.
However depending on how the UFC and MMA community emerges from the ongoing pandemic, big fights may be what the sport needs.