The former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw was a dominant force when he was atop the division. He defeated some of the best at 135 pounds before trying his hand at a flyweight championship. Dillashaw has been out of competition for two years now, serving a suspension for failing a USADA test. Dillashaw admitted to taking a banned substance and agreed to the 24-month suspension. That time off is now over and Dillashaw was been vocal about wanting an immediate title shot upon his return. According to Dana White, that will not be happening.
“We’re working on something for TJ (Dillashaw) right now, where the winner of that fight would fight for the title next,” White told ESPN.
The bantamweight title will be on the line this weekend at UFC 259 when champion Petr Yan takes on number one contender Aljamain Sterling on the main card. The winner of this fight will see the winner of the Dillashaw vs. TBD opponent, however, there is always the possibility of a rematch. If Sterling wins, Yan could have a case for another shot depending on circumstances.
It would be in the best interest of the UFC to have Dillashaw back fighting for a title. He was a big draw when he was champion and is good at selling fights. Many people will be interested to see how he looks following the time away and no banned substances in his system.
Who could be next for Dillashaw is still up in the air, although he has been called out by a few of the top-ranked fighters. Pedro Munhoz is one name that makes sense. Munhoz is coming off a big win over Jimmie Rivera and called for a shot at Dillashaw in his post-fight interview. Another option could be Cory Sandhagen who recently won over Frankie Edgar and put a stamp on his title contender status. Either way, Dillashaw will be back and facing off with the best the 135-pound division has to offer.