Dana White Reveals Important News on What’s Next for T.J. Dillashaw

Published 03/05/2021, 5:35 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 04: TJ Dillashaw celebrates his UFC Bantamweight Title Bout win over Cody Garbrandt during UFC 227 at Staples Center on August 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)


T.J. Dillashaw hasn’t fought since his loss to Henry Cejudo in January 2019. The former bantamweight champion was suspended for substance abuse and has served the awarded suspension period. Hence, he is expected to make a comeback to the Octagon soon.

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Many believe Dillashaw is the actual 135lbs champion as he never lost the belt. So, many argue that ‘Killashaw’ should be given a shot at the belt immediately upon his return to the Octagon. Those ideas aren’t too far-fetched considering the former champion’s track record. But, it’s surprising that the UFC hasn’t yet booked a fight for Dillashaw, as his suspension ended in January.

Recently, UFC President Dana White provided some important updates on what’s next for Dillashaw upon his return.

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Although he won’t be getting a title shot straight away, the promotion is setting him up for a No. 1 contender matchup. “We’re working on something for TJ right now that would line him up the winner of that fight would fight for the title next,” said White. (Per Brett Okamoto)

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 04: TJ Dillashaw reacts during his UFC bantamweight championship bout against Cody Garbrandt during the UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Bantamweight champion, Petr Yan, will defend his belt against Aljamain Sterling this weekend at UFC 259. Moreover, many believe that Cory Sandhagen sealed his spot as the fighter to face the eventual winner of this weekend’s title fight, after his 28-second flying knee knockout win over Frankie Edgar.

However, White’s comments could mean that the matchmakers have another fight in mind.

Is Cory Sandhagen vs T.J. Dillashaw next?

If Dillashaw is looking to establish himself as the no.1 contender upon his return, he has to fight ‘The Sandman’ who has taken out every single opponent in his UFC run except for Aljamain Sterling. But, his last two performances against Marlon Moraes and ‘The Answer’ have been phenomenal.

All things point to a possible fight between ‘Sandman’ and ‘Killashaw’ next to decide the No.1 contender. Furthermore, Sandhagen has indicated that he is more than willing to fight Dillashaw if needed.

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NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 19: TJ Dillashaw reacts after his loss to Henry Cejudo in their flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Barclays Center on January 19, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

There is no doubt he has established himself worthy of challenging for the belt next, but if Dillashaw is coming back, a fight against the former champion will be a great opportunity for ‘Sandman‘ to make a bigger name for himself.

Who will T.J. Dillashaw fight when he eventually makes his return to the Octagon? Let us know your thoughts.

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Apratim Banerjee

708 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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