UFC bantamweight TJ Dillashaw is hoping for an immediate title shot in his UFC return, saying that he’s “ready to go straight for the belt.”
Dillashaw has not fought since January 2019 after he testing positive for PEDs following a TKO loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC on ESPN+ 1. Dillashaw was then suspended for two years by USADA, but he recently completed his suspension and is now ready to return to the cage. There has been plenty of speculation about who Dillashaw could fight in his Octagon comeback, with whispers that he could get a title shot against UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan. Remember, Dillashaw didn’t lose his belt, he vacated it. So in his mind, there is a justification for him coming back to fight for the belt despite the PEDs.
Speaking to former UFC welterweight Mike Swick on the “Real Quick with Mike Swick” podcast, Dillashaw said that he is ready to fight for the belt as soon as the UFC wants.
“I’m ready to go straight for the belt if that’s the opportunity that comes at me because I know Yan wants it. He’s already been vocally talking about it and we’ll see what happens on March 6 when he fights Sterling. He’s got a tough test ahead of him, but that’s the fight he wants. I didn’t leave this sport by losing my belt. He knows there’s a lot of speculation if he’s the real champ because he hasn’t beaten the champion to get that belt, so he wants it. As well as that, I’m the biggest draw for him right now to try to fight,” Dillashaw said (h/t MMAjunkie.com).
As Dillashaw alluded to, Yan has a very difficult fight next month at UFC 259 when he takes on Aljamain Sterling. But if Yan wins that fight, don’t be surprised if he takes the mic and calls Dillashaw out. And if that’s the case, then you know Dillashaw is going to take it. The PED thing will always be a sticking point, but he is definitely a big name, a former champion, and a tough test, so you can understand why Yan is interested in fighting him.
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