This past weekend, Conor McGregor returned to the UFC and got knocked out by Dustin Poirier. As with anytime McGregor fights, that story has been sucking up all the oxygen in the room, however, there’s another important return to MMA set to take place this year: former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.
Last week, Dillashaw’s two-year USADA suspension officially ended, making him once again eligible to compete in MMA and there have already been a number of possible opponents suggested for Dillashaw’s return. Thus far, the front-runner appears to be second-ranked bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen; however, there’s a new possibility on the horizon, and immediate title shot against Petr Yan.
Yan is set to defend his title against top contender Aljamain Sterling on at UFC 259 in March. But speaking to Fanatics View, the bantamweight champion suggested that after he beats Sterling, he could be interested in a fight with Dillashaw.
“Edgar, older. It’s not big,” Yan said, discussing potential opponents. “Fan base is not good. Sandhagen, he lose to Sterling. I think maybe Dillashaw. T.J. Dillashaw is back after doping tests. I want a fight with him.”
This is a big of a change of heart from Yan. Dillashaw has been out since 2019 when he was caught taking EPO by USADA following his failed attempt to drop down to flyweight and claim a second UFC belt. In preparation for his return, Dillashaw called for an immediate title shot against the winner of Yan-Sterling but both men shot the idea down. Now it appears Yan has changed his tune, so long as Dillashaw isn’t on the gas.
“It’s up to the UFC,” Yan said via translator. “However they decide, if the term is right, then I’m going to fight him whenever. Just let’s make sure that he’s not going to use anything prohibited this time...
“I think it’s a real great fight and I win. He’s older. He took two years, don’t fight and now, if I remember, he’s 34 years. It’s older for bantamweight division.”
Dillashaw will turn 35 next month but that’s actually not drastically older than much of the rest of the division. In fact, four of the top-10 ranked fighters in the UFC are 34 or older. However, the big layoff for Dillashaw could certainly be cause for concern, and if the UFC wants to offer Yan someone else, he’d be okay with that too, just so long as it’s a fighting befitting his status as champion.
“It needs (to be) a big fight,” Yan said. “If I win easy (over) Sterling, next fight have to be very big.”
Schadenfreude. Justin Gaethje on Dustin Poirier’s KO of Conor McGregor: ‘Seeing a piece of sh*t get put down, that was great’.
Trilogy. Mike Brown: Trilogy with Conor McGregor possible, but ‘what Dustin Poirier is fighting for is to be world champion’.
Storms. Coach Firas Zahabi: Conor McGregor faded in face of Dustin Poirier attack – ‘he’s not used to weathering storms’.
USADA. Raquel Pennington accepts six-month USADA suspension after self-reporting doping violation.
Woo. Michael Chandler receives congratulatory call from Ric Flair, UFC 257 promo mashup.
Between the Links.
UFC 258 Preview.
Good series from the UFC here.
UFC fighters reacting to backyard fights.
It’s Time. Interviews with Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
FYI, there is a UFC Athlete Code of Conduct Policy that would seem to cover this exact thing. Pity it’s rarely enforced.
I guess MMA is a line of work where you can publicly talk about whether you'd have sex with a coworker in an utterly degrading way and face zero consequences.— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) January 28, 2021
Disgusting behavior and it's unfortunate that he'll be fighting on my card in March. https://t.co/hJd1OuHIyD
@MeganA_mma I’m sorry this upset you. I will be more careful with my words. I was just answering a question and thought it was all a joking matter. I see I was wrong and I’m sorry. Best of luck with training camp and your fight.— Casey Kenney (@ckmma135) January 28, 2021
“I’m sorry this upset you” is NOT an apology.— Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) January 29, 2021
It’s laying the blame on @MeganA_mma for her getting upset.
An apology is acknowledgment of being in the wrong, which is not what this is.
This is gaslighting. https://t.co/QPJucPESPe
Men (in MMA), we gotta do better.— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) January 29, 2021
I'm Sorry, @MeganA_mma. We failed you.
Also, don’t let Sean O’Malley off the hook here. He also said some egregiously stupid shit.
Wow. Sean is completely ignorant and uneducated in the topic and it shows. Tim Welch is epitome of a “yes man.” A do anything for clout type of boy. Casey Kenney really just trying to fit in and he sucks at it. Having a brother who is an addict, this is nothing to joke about. https://t.co/Elg6xDEW0U— Deron Winn (@DeronWinn) January 29, 2021
Hey my dad passed away on Christmas Eve. Before that he was a homeless alcoholic. My older brother has been and is still struggling with heroin addiction. I’ve watched it ruin his life time and time again. Burn every bridge he’s ever known. You still wanna joke? That’s crazy bro. https://t.co/lt7Q1cFnau— Deron Winn (@DeronWinn) January 29, 2021
Train with an MMA fighter to learn MMA angles. Galaxy Brain.
He knocked out my opponent @benaskren in 5 seconds and now will help me do it in less time.. @gamebredfighter is teaching me his secrets... April 17th the fight will last less than 4 seconds and then we coming for @natediaz209 pic.twitter.com/IQWeyqh5oj— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) January 28, 2021
I really hope @GamebredFighter is in @jakepaul corner for the fight!— Funky (@Benaskren) January 29, 2021
imagine being @GamebredFighter two fucking clowns! Jorge “the sell out” Masvidal the princess of Miami pic.twitter.com/wi7epz2OPX— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) January 28, 2021
Imagine being so insecure about your own fight career which is actually none existent that you have to constantly take shots at fighters outside of the promotion you’re in so you get clout and stay relevant. https://t.co/TYHMpZGtxh— michael (@bisping) January 28, 2021
I would pay all the money to watch this.
Yo @francisngannou you ready to bend the knee? Sign the contract pic.twitter.com/So1lqH9yPW— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) January 28, 2021
Yousef Zalal (10-3) vs. Seung Woo Choi (8-3); UFC Vegas 18, Feb. 6.
Kai Kara-France (21-9, 1 NC) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (16-2, 1 NC); UFC 259, Mar. 6.
Kennedy Nzechukwu (7-1) vs. Carlos Ulberg (3-0); UFC 259, Mar. 6.
Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.
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