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Business-minded TJ Dillashaw leaves door (slightly) open for UFC return

UFC 227 Open Workouts Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

TJ Dillashaw suffered a dislocated shoulder ahead of his Aljamain Sterling loss at the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) event last month in Abu Dhabi, an injury that could leave the former bantamweight champion out of action for more than a year.

Or forever.

“We’ll see how successful things turn out for me outside the cage and just how busy I am and what life looks like,” Dillashaw told Food Truck Diaries. “I might be so busy — I already am kinda that busy — that I don’t even have time to come back. Even when I did come back, I had to put business in the back to deal with the fight. That business is gonna pay me for the rest of my life where this fight’s only gonna pay me now. But when I was eight weeks out it was like, ‘Alright, sorry, guys. If you need to get ahold of me I’m not dealing with anything business related unless it’s gotta do with my fight.’”

Dillashaw, 36, abruptly retired from combat sports after getting news from his surgeon about the severity of his shoulder injury. The new plan is to focus on his current business endeavors (like this) while spending more time with his son.

“I have my 5-year-old son,” Dillashaw continued. “The only fights he can really remember are my last two fights. Sandhagen, I blow my knee out. So, during fight camp, I’m not daddy. I am and I’m not, but I’m in Colorado for half the training camp, I’m traveling, I’m gone, he misses me when I’m gone. I get back, I’m on one leg, I’m laid up, and can’t be playing with him the way I’d like to. Then my ‘Aljo’ fight, I’m out in Abu Dhabi for two weeks, get shoulder surgery. He’s told me probably a good 10 times, ‘Dada, I don’t want you to fight again.’ Ah, f***. It digs deep, you know? Then the doctor’s appointment. It still is tough.”

If and when he does come back, this longtime rival will be ready.

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