Early retirement was thrust upon T.J. Dillashaw due to injuries.
During what turned out to be his last fight in the octagon, it was evident that Dillashaw would require another recovery break due to a severe shoulder dislocation. His defeat by TKO in the second round to bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 280 was just a peek into the ongoing physical battles he’d been grappling with. Consequently, it prompted his premature departure from MMA, even though this wasn’t his intention.
Dillashaw confessed on the Jaxxon Podcast, “I had no desire to retire. It’s been a tough pill to swallow. Being around the sport lately, even assisting my sparring partner Juan Archuleta in his championship fight in Japan’s RIZIN, has been a struggle for me. It’s been challenging to accept being forced out of the sport while still being part of it. Also, my career just sort of unfolded the way it did towards the end — it’s really bitter, you know?
“All the physicians I’ve consulted, all shoulder specialists, have informed me that they cannot sufficiently restore me to fight again. Doctors aren’t always correct but I need to undergo major shoulder surgery. Right now, I’m waiting for some cadaver parts. I require a cadaver’s shoulder head bone.”
Even as his career hit its stride, Dillashaw was known for his striking prowess, but he always maintained a robust wrestling foundation. However, Dillashaw was helpless against Sterling’s takedowns and grappling situations, unable to mount an effective offense as a one-armed fighter.
Dillashaw commented, “I was fighting against someone I really matched up well with. Aljamain Sterling was — is — the title holder, but I don’t think he’s that exceptional. Sure, he’s got great grappling, he’s got some sneaky back takes but his stand-up isn’t at all menacing. I could let him hit me as hard as he wanted and nothing would come of it.”
Dillashaw knew that shoulder surgery was inevitable, which made the fight feel like a last-ditch effort. After a year-long hiatus due to a knee injury, Dillashaw now hopes to address his shoulder issue next month once the necessary cadaver parts are obtained.
If he can return to stable health, Dillashaw mentioned that he’d entertain a rematch with Dominick Cruz. Cruz had dethroned Dillashaw by a split decision in January 2016 after a hiatus of his own.
Whether another title shot is even in the cards, “The Viper” just wants the chance to conclude his career on his terms.
Dillashaw stated, “I firmly believe that I’m still the top contender in the weight class, by a long shot. For me to be stripped of the sport in this manner, it doesn’t sit right with me… If the shoulder heals, man, I absolutely have to get back in there. I can’t let it end the way it did.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA GUMBO
Updated rankings pic.twitter.com/TPDrKGJCvO
— Nathaniel Wood (@TheProspectMMA) August 5, 2023
The force of Tawanchai’s kicks is incredible. He just broke Davit Kiria’s arm #ONEFightNight13 pic.twitter.com/bJNhgeXm9J
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) August 5, 2023
Indeed, Davit Kiria’s arm is broken.
Tawanchai is a beast.#ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/jMun1jQyPB
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It’s fascinating to observe what’s significant to people’s cultures when meeting new people. They want to show you certain traditions passed down from generations. It’s very humbling. #japan little pieces of life
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In my opinion, it appears quite romantic pic.twitter.com/rCbqAPgs25
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I believe respect comes first, you never know what tomorrow might bring pic.twitter.com/ELYZejfCZd
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Eager to be back!
Shoulder is nearly there! Few more weeks to get the green light and resume training! pic.twitter.com/0y13iivLak
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) August 5, 2023
Li Yixuan (3-0) finished Xu Wanying with this choke at JCK today. Not prepared to label her a prospect yet, but since female fighters are scarce in China, I’m keeping an eye on her, and she’ll probably be put into a larger fight next. pic.twitter.com/N3rpSVRioX
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KO of the week.
Jose Ramirez sent Tim Anderson to the canvas with a fierce right hand pic.twitter.com/ifNmueoknk
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