Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw recently crossed the halfway mark of his two-year suspension from USADA, a result of his positive drug test after losing to Henry Cejudo in the UFC on ESPN 1 flyweight main event back in Jan. 2019.
Dillashaw, 34, was stripped of his title as part of his disciplinary timeout.
But according to the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) finalist, the promotion is willing to grant him an immediate title shot upon his return to action. That said, even Dillashaw knows the likelihood of UFC keeping its word is remote, based on the current 135-pound landscape.
“I was told I would get that title fight when I came back, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Dillashaw told MMA Junkie. “I made a mistake – I don’t own rights to anything. But if it was my choice, it would be title fight, if not top-five to prove I should get that title fight. I’m hoping they just throw me to the dogs. If I can’t get that title fight, I want someone in the top five so that I can get my title fight. I’m not here to play around. I want my belt back. It’s still mine.”
Dillashaw (16-4) originally dropped his bantamweight belt in a split-decision loss to Dominick Cruz back in early 2016, but was able to punch his way back into contention and finish Cody Garbrandt in a pair of back-to-back championship title fights.
His desire to join the “champ champ” club led him to flyweight; however, he was unable to get out of the first round against Cejudo, who followed up his Dillashaw victory with an emphatic win over Marlon Moraes to capture the vacant 135-pound strap.
See the bantamweight Top 5 right here if you’re interested in playing matchmaker.