Friday, January 28, 2022

Dana White: TJ Dillashaw Will Have #1-Contender Fight Upon Return

Answers are finally beginning to come in about what is in store for TJ Dillashaw when he makes his return to the Octagon following a two-year USADA suspension.

It’s been two years since TJ Dillashaw last competed in the UFC. In that contest, Dillashaw had attempted to capture the flyweight championship from Henry Cejudo but came up short with nothing to show for it but a round-1 TKO and a failed drug test for EPO. 

Dillashaw is now eligible to return to competition, but the question that has lingered even before his status changed to “active” is: Who will his opponent be upon return? Many men have volunteered to be cast in the role of Dillashaw’s foil, but the former bantamweight champion let it be known that his first choice was to immediately compete for the title in his return fight. 

Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling bantamweight title fight targeted for UFC  259 - MMA Fighting
Reigning Bantamweight Champion Petr Yan. Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Reigning champion Petr Yan had no problem in accommodating Dillashaw’s wishes and bumped him straight to the top of his list of preferred next opponents. But even if Yan is victorious this Saturday in his first bantamweight title defense against Aljamain Sterling, Dillashaw will need to win at least one fight to meet the winner of Yan/Sterling according to UFC President Dana White

“We’re working on something for TJ (Dillashaw) right now, where the winner of that fight would fight (the winner of Yan vs. Sterling) for the title next,” White told ESPN on Thursday.

Reading Between The Lines of Who’s Next for Dillashaw

Bantamweight upstart Cory Sandhagen has a plan: Get in, seize the prizes,  get out - MMA Fighting
Cory Sandhagen. Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

TJ Dillashaw earning a title shot by picking up a victory is exactly what some fighters have called for, including #2-ranked contender Cory Sandhagen. The ease in which Dana White stated that Dillashaw’s next fight would be a #1-contender fight makes it highly likely if not obvious that the opponent they have in mind for him is Cory Sandhagen. Sandhagen himself has expressed an openness in fighting Dillashaw for his next fight, so this seems like the clear-cut fight being discussed all things considered. 

For the time being, this is mere speculation, though, so stay posted here on MMANews.com to discover any possible dates and announcements concerning Dillashaw’s next fight. 

Whom would you like to see T.J. Dillashaw fight in his comeback fight?

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