‘It’s Time!’- TJ Dillashaw Ready to Make His Return to the UFC Octagon

Published 01/21/2021, 5:00 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 04: TJ Dillashaw celebrates after his knockout victory over Cody Garbrandt in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 227 event inside Staples Center on August 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former 135-pound champion, TJ Dillashaw, took to social media and made his intentions for a return loud and clear. Dillashaw’s two-year suspension for EPO usage is finally up and he’s keen to re-enter the title picture. When USADA threw down the hammer on Dillashaw, he was one of the biggest active stars on the roster.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

TJ Dillashaw put forth a shout-out for Bang Muay Thai that is spearheaded by his coach Duane Ludwig. The two went on a blistering run of success that ultimately came crashing down when Dillashaw was popped for USADA. However, there’s no denying the magnitude of lofty success and visibility that they attained in a short time period.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by TJ Dillashaw (@tjdillashaw)

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

TJ Dillashaw: Back to the shark tank

The landscape of the bantamweight division has changed significantly since the last time TJ Dillashaw was the champion. In fact, the current divisional champion Petr Yan was ranked number 14, while number one ranked Aljamain Sterling was number seven. Moreover, number two ranked Cory Sandhagen wasn’t even ranked when Dillashaw was active.

TJ Dillashaw has expressed an interest to scrap against Jose Aldo in his return match-up. Aldo who moved down from featherweight is a major player in the bantamweight division. Despite’s Aldo’s TKO loss to Petr Yan from earlier in 2020, he still remains a threat.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Petr Yan of Russia punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Furthermore, Jose Aldo also comes in with a huge following and he’ll serve as the right fight for Dillashaw to make his return. Making a comeback after two years means it’s essential to once again capture the attention of the casual fans. However, there are plenty of interesting match-ups that will make sense when trying to put together an exciting comeback fight.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Not short on options

Moreover, there are also plenty of old rivals like Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz, who will make for high-visibility opponents. The storyline writes itself for their potential bout, especially with Faber and what was formerly Team Alpha Male. Fans will be awaiting the news of a Dillashaw fight booking to see how things develop going forward.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, it’s safe to say that the pressure will be turned on right from the get-go considering the way he left the sport. Should he not return in full form, there will undoubtedly be questions about his past victories that will emerge.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Darryl Pinto

1607 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT