Sunday, December 4, 2022

Dillashaw: I Beat Garbrandt With A Similar Shoulder Injury

TJ Dillashaw defends his injured shoulder following the loss.

The former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has been catching a lot of heat following his UFC 280 loss to Aljamain Sterling. In his losing effort against Sterling, Dillashaw suffered an injury to his shoulder. The shoulder, which he later revealed had been giving him problems in camp, dislocated during the opening round of the fight.

After the loss, fans and other fighters expressed their disappointment in Dillashaw and the fact that he did not pull out of the bout having known prior of this injury.

TJ Dillashaw
Image Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

TJ Dillashaw Explained That His Shoulder Injury Was a Longstanding Problem

The bantamweight title fight ended in the second round after it was clear that Dillashaw was having a difficult time with his shoulder. To Dillashaw, he didn’t think about pulling out because the injury was a lingering one, one that he had overcome before.

“I’ve fought like this before. I knocked out Cody Garbrandt twice with two blown out shoulders,” he said in an interview with ESPN. “My shoulders were both dislocating for that Garbrandt fight. So, before the first Garbrandt fight, I tore my shoulder on The Ultimate Fighter doing the coach challenge. We were playing tetherball on that balance beam, and I fell off… In that fight camp, I dislocated my shoulder probably a good 10 to 15 times. It was a sublux, right, where it would pop out and go back in on its own.”

Dillashaw lost his title following testing positive for a banned substance. He served a two-year suspension and returned with the goal in mind of regaining the championship. He was willing to fight through any pain he was experiencing in order to reach that goal.

“It hurt and it affected my grappling, but what was I gonna do? Not take the fight? I wanted to get my title back. Kind of same situation I’m in now… The second fight was my right shoulder. Same kind of thing, was hitting the bag and hurt my right shoulder, and then that one started subluxing… This isn’t new. I’ve fought in this situation before.”

There are some people who think Dillashaw should have pulled out of the fight and let someone else step into the title shot. Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen are among the potential list of candidates that could have stood in.

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