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White: TJ Dillashaw won’t get immediate title shot upon UFC return

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UFC Fight Night Cejudo v Dillashaw Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will be making his Octagon return at some point over the next few months, but it appears matchmakers won’t be looking to pair him against the winner of Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling, who compete for the 135-pound strap at UFC 259 this Sat. night (March 6) in Las Vegas.

That’s according to UFC President Dana White.

“We’re working on something for T.J. right now that would line him up (where) the winner of that fight would fight for the title next,” White told ESPN.

So much for this promise.

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 then-champion Henry Cejudo. Then came a positive drug test and a two-year suspension from MMA.

Here’s a look at the bantamweight Top 5:

1. Aljamain Sterling
2. Cory Sandhagen
3. Rob Font
4. Cody Garbrandt
5. Jose Aldo

Sandhagen could be next in line for the bantamweight belt, putting Dillashaw against Font since he already holds two wins over Garbrandt and Aldo previously lost to Yan. Or maybe Sandhagen will be forced to clear one last hurdle against Dillashaw.

Stay tuned.