Two-time UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has notified the promotion that he is retiring from the sport of MMA.
The decision to retire comes after Dillashaw was forced to undergo another extensive surgery to repair damage done to his shoulder following his most recent loss, which came against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 280. Dillashaw has been plagued by shoulder injuries in recent years, having surgery on both arms while serving a two-year suspension under the UFC’s anti-doping program for using recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).
The latest surgery was expected to keep Dillashaw sidelined for at least the next year with another surgery possible in the future. That, however, was ultimately a bridge too far for Dillashaw to expect any reasonable timeline to return to action, which led to the decision to notify the UFC that he would retire from MMA.
If his retirement extends to all combat sports, Dillashaw retires as one of the top bantamweights in MMA history with two separate title reigns in the UFC.
Dillashaw became champion with a shocking upset over Renan Barao in 2014 and then repeated that performance with another dominant showcase against the Brazilian just over one year later. He dropped the title in a razor close split decision Dominick Cruz, but then rattled off two more wins before knocking out former teammate Cody Garbrandt to reclaim the belt.
Following a second win over Garbrandt, Dillashaw then made the decision to attempt to become a two-division champion after dropping down to flyweight to challenge for the 125-pound title. Unfortunately, he came up short, falling to Henry Cejudo in just 32 seconds.
Afterward, Dillashaw relinquished his bantamweight title after revealing he had tested positive for EPO, which led to his two-year suspension. He eventually returned with a win over Cory Sandhagen before falling to Sterling.
Dillashaw retires with a 17-5 record overall.