UFC bantamweight contender TJ Dillashaw says he’s been told by the promotion that he is next in line to fight for the 135lbs title.
Dillashaw defeated Cory Sandhagen via split decision in his return to the Octagon back in July. For Dillashaw, it was his first fight since losing to Henry Cejudo at UFC on ESPN+ 1 in January 2019. Of course, that fight took place at 125lbs, when Dillashaw was attempting to become a two-division champion. The 135lbs champion at the time, Dillashaw vacated his title after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. After serving his ban for two years, Dillashaw was able to come back and he picked up a huge win over Sandhagen. By beating Sandhagen, Dillashaw was expected to get the next title shot at 135lbs after the champion Aljamain Sterling and his rival Petr Yan had their rematch take place at UFC 267.
However, Sterling is currently on the shelf with a neck injury, and the UFC doctors didn’t clear him to fight. With Sterling out, it was natural that Dillashaw vs. Yan was the next fight, but Dillashaw is not yet healed up following the injuries he suffered against Sandhagen. With Dillashaw unavailable, the UFC called upon Rob Font to face Yan in an interim title fight at UFC 267, but that fight didn’t happen because Font had COVID-19 and couldn’t take the fight. Finally, Sandhagen got the call and he fights Yan later this month for the interim belt. It’s expected the winner of that fight unifies the belt against Sterling.
Dillashaw, however, says he has been told other things by the UFC. According to the former champ, who was recently a guest on “The MMA Hour,” the UFC has told him that he will be next in line for the bantamweight title shot, regardless of who is holding the belt. However, Dillashaw admitted that he would also be open to fighting Jose Aldo next, as well.
“From what I’ve been told, I’m fighting for the belt next, no matter what that belt is,” Dillashaw said (via MMANews). “So that’s kinda where my mindset’s at right now. But sh*t, it’s Jose Aldo. Jose Aldo, to me, is an all-time legend. So it’s hard to think about not taking (that) fight if it’s offered to you. But I’m fighting for the belt next is what I’ve been told.”
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