MMA fighters flocked to social media on Monday following news that former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw had informed the promotion of his retirement.
Dillashaw was in action this past October at UFC 280, where he challenged the reign of Aljamain Sterling in Abu Dhabi. The champion made quick work of the veteran, whose shoulder dislocated early into the fight.
After, it emerged that Dillashaw had entered the event with a significant pre-existing injury, choosing to fight through it to avoid losing his opportunity to return to the 135-pound throne.
Following the event, it became clear that Dillashaw required surgery and a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Despite that, he appeared extremely committed to making a comeback and earning another shot at three-time champion status down the line.
But on Monday, the TJ Dillashaw retirement saga played out, with some reports stating he’d informed the UFC of his decision to call it quits and others suggesting there’d been no such communication.
Eventually, it was confirmed that Dillashaw has indeed notified the organization of his retirement.
MMA Fighters React, Question Dillashaw’s Intentions
With that, a number of notable mixed martial artists took to Twitter with their reactions to the somewhat surprising news.
Former two-division champion Henry Cejudo simply posted an image of his faceoff with Dillashaw, which came prior to his 2019 first-round TKO victory over the 36-year-old in their flyweight championship fight.
While many fans and pundits were reflecting on Dillashaw’s career, a few fighters raised doubts over the legitimacy of his retirement.
In recent times, the case of Conor McGregor has drawn controversy. After breaking his leg last July, the Irishman exited USADA’s testing pool during his recovery, with many concluding that he’s been utilizing performance-enhancing drugs to aid the healing process.
With that in mind, ranked bantamweight Ricky Simón and top-15 middleweight Chris Curtis suggested that Dillashaw is doing exactly that, with the former fully expecting the bantamweight great to return following his recovery.
The most recent of Dillashaw’s UFC opponents, Aljamain Sterling, also chimed in with his thoughts, and they followed similar lines to Curtis and Simón.
But while those two appeared to hold negative views towards what they perceived Dillashaw’s retirement to really mean, “Funkmaster” suggested that he has no issues with his UFC 280 foe doing “whatever he needs” to do in order to return to full fitness.
Sterling also promised to “smoke” Dillashaw in a rematch if he’s to return down the line.
What was your reaction to TJ Dillashaw’s retirement?