It has been over two years since TJ Dillashaw has been able to call himself the UFC bantamweight champion. His designation as such fell not because he dropped the title in competition but because of a two-year USADA suspension for taking EPO. Dillashaw is now geared and ready to make his return in a little over one month’s time against Cory Sandhagen on May 8.
If Dillashaw is able to get past Sandhagen, the path should be clear for him to receive a title shot in his next bout. It would be far clearer, though, had the Petr Yan/Aljamain Sterling title fight at UFC 259 had ended in the manner that it did.
“Probably the worst way the fight could have gone for me personally,” Dillashaw told ESPN of the DQ finish at UFC 259. “I know Petr Yan wants to fight me, and I want to fight him, especially after the performance I watched both those guys give.
“That was like the worst-case scenario the fight could’ve happened is a DQ and they’re gonna have to rematch. Sterling seems like he’s milking this. He’s gonna take this rematch time. It sucks for everyone. It sucks for Yan. I mean, he was winning the fight. It sucks for the division to have to be put on hold. Now, they’re gonna have to rematch to a fight that we already know who’s gonna win.”
Dillashaw Gives Sterling Practically No Chance To Become Champion
As alluded to by Dillashaw, Petr Yan has expressed interest in granting Dillashaw a title fight. Sterling, meanwhile, has blasted Dillashaw for thinking he is deserving of a shot while alleging that Dillashaw has been a career-long cheat. The contrast in comments between Yan and Sterling regarding him could factor into Dillashaw’s assessment of their skill sets and his prediction for the inevitable rematch between the two.
“In my mind, I’m preparing for Yan,” Dillashaw said. “I mean, Sterling, he came out aggressive, but he just doesn’t have threatening on his feet. His only threat is to take you down to the ground, and Yan did a very good job defending his shots and backtripping him. I mean, I thought Sterling looked very bad. Looked aggressive and great coming out, but just nothing behind it. He has no threats. So I think Yan’s gonna be even more confident going into the second fight.”
There is currently no targeted date for the rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan, but Dana White left no doubt that this is the fight to make next. Yan and Sterling have signed off on it as well, but Sterling has stated he would like to take some time to allow his brain to fully heal, to which Yan accused Sterling of behaving cowardly.
Do you think T.J. Dillashaw is overlooking Aljamain Sterling or has he put the nail right on the head?