A highly competitive Bantamweight showdown between 135-pound champion, Aljamain Sterling, and former Bantamweight roost-ruler, T.J. Dillashaw, ended up being a total rout after Dillashaw’s shoulder repeatedly dislocated in the cage at UFC 280 last night (Sat., Oct. 22, 2022) in Abu Dhabi.
Dillashaw somehow managed to survive the first round with his shoulder out of its socket, and his coach even popped it back in between rounds. But, shortly after the second round began, that sucker came right back out. This time there was no quarter given by Sterling, who got on top of Dillashaw and punished him with ground-and-pound until the referee called the fight (watch highlights here).
“I’ve got to apologize to the weight class, I kinda held it up,” Dillashaw said in the cage following the loss. “I completely blew my shoulder out in the end of April as soon as I started getting ready for this, and I probably dislocated it 20 times during training camp.”
The admission shocked everyone watching the fight, and must have really blown the minds of gamblers who put money on Dillashaw (a slight +150 betting underdog) to win. Immediately after Dillashaw’s admission, there were angry fans demanding to know how UFC could allow Dillashaw to compete with such a serious injury.
But, according to UFC President, Dana White, the promotion was unaware Dillashaw was suffering from a bum shoulder.
“I had no idea,” White said at the UFC 280 post-fight press conference. “Yeah, that’s a problem.
“How could the athletic commission know if he doesn’t tell us?” White continued. “You gotta tell us. I mean, he looked good, he was in great shape. It’s not like he came in out of shape, he looked like he was injured, or whatever. But yeah, that’s something that he should have told us.”
It’s no secret that UFC fighters often come into fight week with injuries. Some are minor, some are serious, and most are hidden from UFC and athletic commissions. Earlier this year, Francis Ngannou came into his title fight against Ciryl Gane with a completely blown out knee.
If he’d fallen to leg kicks in the first or second round, we’d probably be talking about Ngannou the same way we’re talking about Dillashaw now. But, he didn’t. He ended up winning the fight, and his legend only grew after people learned that he did it on one leg.
We’re sure that’s the scenario Dillashaw and his team envisioned when they went forward with this fight. Unfortunately for them (and anyone betting on T.J.), it didn’t play out that way.
For complete UFC 280 results and coverage click here.