This past weekend, former two-time bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw made his successful return to the UFC with a split decision win over Cory Sandhagen at UFC Vegas 32. Dillashaw had been out for two years while serving a USADA drug suspension which resulted in Dillashaw vacating his bantamweight strap. Now, with a win over second-ranked contender in the division, Dillashaw is calling for a shot at the title and the current champion says he’s willing to oblige, even though he believes Dillashaw isn’t the same fighter he was before getting caught.
“I think T.J., ever since he fought John Dodson, I think since that fight he turned a corner and he turned a corner in a very different way. I’m gonna say it was definitely the ‘Needleshaw’ effect,” Aljamain Sterling told Sirius XM’s Fight Nation. “I would definitely still fight him but I’m gonna always have it in the back of my mind that this guy’s probably finding another way to cheat. It is what it is. I think he looked very different in that fight. He wasn’t as dominant as you typically see in a T.J. Dillashaw type of fight and I think there’s a reason for that. You can look at that in terms of the MMA skill level has gotten better or he doesn’t have all the substances in terms of his cardio being the crazy machine that it always is, his recovery and everything.”
Dillashaw tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) in a post-fight USADA drug test following his loss to Henry Cejudo in a failed flyweight title bid. After testing positive, Dillashaw admitted his drug use and vacated his bantamweight title.The former bantamweight champion has maintained that this was his first time taking performance enhancing drugs, doing so to cope with the added struggle of making the cut to 125 pounds. Obviously, Sterling does not believe Dillashaw but the current bantamweight champion isn’t too chuffed about it. In fact, the only thing that bothers him, Sterling says, is the way Dillashaw has handled his comeback.
“I have no problem with fighting him,” Sterling said. “The only issue I really have with T.J. Dillashaw that pisses me off is that he keeps saying that he came clean. You didn’t come clean, you idiot! You got caught! You. Got. Caught. What universe are we living in? And the UFC is pushing this narrative like, ‘Oh, he’s changing his life and he came clean’ and T.J.’s saying, ‘Oh, I’m so glad and relieved that I came clean about it.’ I’m like, bro. You idiot.
“The people who are eating this up just drive me nuts because I’m like, bro, you didn’t come clean, you got caught, you dummy. There is a unique and clear difference between being caught and coming clean. You didn’t just on the fight say, ‘Hey man, I’ve gotta come clean about this, I cheated in that fight.’ No, no, no. You got caught because you pissed hot. Bro. This is the type of people that we deal with.”
Ultimately, Sterling may well get the chance to settle things with Dillashaw, however, it could be some time before that happens. In his fight with Sandhagen, Dillashaw tore his lateral meniscus and lateral collateral ligament in his left knee which will require surgery and approximately six weeks of recovery time. In the meantime, Sterling has the recently announced rematch with Petr Yan to occupy his focus. Sterling vs. Yan II will serve as the co-main event for UFC 267 on Oct. 30 at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Reaction. Cory Sandhagen on controversial loss to T.J. Dillashaw: ‘I don’t feel like I got beat in a fight’.
Recovery. T.J. Dillashaw headed to surgery for injured knee suffered in Cory Sandhagen fight, expects ‘speedy recovery’.
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A day in the life of Israel Adesanya.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Conor is on a journey right now.
Life is vastly different from my P.O.V.— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) July 28, 2021
People wanting to take a piece of me regardless how I feel.
I know how to protect my energetic space, but if you try get to close physically and uninvited…the Barbarian will see to it that you don’t disturb my peace ✨ pic.twitter.com/u5XtSI56CB
Honestly guys, there was no offer or bout agreement yet. Was a little surprised today lol I was hoping I worked my way back into a ranked fight and if not, the O’Malley fight makes a lot of sense. UFC 266 would be a fun card to be on…— Ricky Simón (@RickySimonUFC) July 28, 2021
Darren Till living the troll life.
Just had another great chat with the great @bisping there,— D (@darrentill2) July 27, 2021
He has decideyed against making that comeback again.
Would of been great to see him back out there in the spotlight and in the public eye again.
No worries mate I’ve always got ur back and will always have my eyes on u xx
This is a brilliant gimmick.
Starting a Pound 4 Pound top 10 list for MMA Reporters and Journalist…need a panel of fighter judges. Voting criteria to include: interview skills, social media presence, ability to cover events, journalism integrity. Will publish list once a month on https://t.co/DYBJUDSuPy— CrisCyborg.Com (@criscyborg) July 27, 2021
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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