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HomeSportsMorning Report: T.J. Dillashaw says he’s still the best bantamweight ‘by far,’...

Morning Report: T.J. Dillashaw says he’s still the best bantamweight ‘by far,’ will return if shoulder heals

Injuries forced T.J. Dillashaw to retire early.

It was apparent watching what became his final bout in the octagon that Dillashaw was about to need another healing period to recover from a nasty shoulder dislocation. Dillashaw’s second-round TKO loss to bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 280 was just a glimpse into the continuous struggles he’d been dealing with. Ultimately, it led to his retirement from MMA shortly after despite not being his plan.

“I didn’t want to retire,” Dillashaw said on the Jaxxon Podcast. “It’s been a real bitter thing. It’s been hard for me to be around the sport recently like even helping my training partner Juan Archuleta fighting in Japan in RIZIN for the belt. It’s been hard for me to wrap my head around being in the sport at the same time being forced out of it. Also, my career just kind of panned out the way it did towards the end — really just bitter, you know?

“I’m hoping — every doctor I’ve met, they’re all specialists on my shoulder, they’re all telling me they can’t put me back good enough to be able to fight again. Doctors aren’t always right but I have to have a super-extensive shoulder surgery. What I’m waiting on right now are some cadaver parts. I need a cadaver shoulder head bone.”

While he primarily became known for his striking as his career peaked, Dillashaw always had a strong wrestling base in his back pocket. Against Sterling, Dillashaw was unable to get off any effective offense as a one-armed fighter and when faced with takedowns and grappling scenarios just couldn’t defend properly.

“I was fighting a guy that I match up really well against,” Dillashaw said. “Aljamain Sterling had the belt — has the belt — and I don’t think he’s that great. Yeah, he’s got some awesome grappling, he’s got some tricky back takes but his stand-up is just not threatening at all. I could let him hit me as hard as he wants and nothing would happen.”

Knowing shoulder surgery was inevitable, the fight was viewed as likely a last-chance moment by Dillashaw. He’d already been out for a year prior with a previous knee injury and now the hope is to finally get the shoulder dealt with next month after the aforementioned requirements are found.

Dillashaw noted that he’d welcome something like a Dominick Cruz rematch should he end up back in action as soon as he can return to sustainable health. Cruz dethroned Dillashaw by a split decision in January 2016 after a layoff of his own.

Whether or not one more title shot is even attainable, “The Viper” just wants a chance to go out on his terms.

“I know that I’m still the best guy in the weight class, by far,” Dillashaw said. “For the sport to be taken from me the way that it was, it just doesn’t sit well with me… If the shoulder’s good, man, definitely I have to get back in there. I can’t let it go out the way it did.”

Sequel. Nate Diaz explains why Jake Paul ‘can’t really fight,’ calls for rematch ‘in any art’

Moment. Jake Paul explains why he didn’t get the finish after scoring nasty knockdown of Nate Diaz

Confidence. Nick Diaz calls to fight Jake Paul or Logan Paul after Nate Diaz’s loss: ‘I’m a lot better than both of these guys’

Sandman. Cory Sandhagen defends UFC Nashville performance: ‘To me, that’s beautiful martial arts’

Aftermath. ‘F****** trash’: Pros react to Jake Paul beating Nate Diaz

Antics. Jake Paul reacts to Nate Diaz grabbing guillotine choke late in their boxing match: ‘He f***** choked me!’

Next. Kamaru Usman open to ‘Wonderboy’ next, takes shot at Khamzat Chimaev for demanding 185-pound fight

Result. Chris Avila: ‘I’m levels above’ Jeremy Stephens, won’t return to Misfits Boxing

Contender. Tatiana Suarez after UFC Nashville win: ‘I deserve to fight for the title’

Controversy. Priscila Cachoeira responds to Miranda Maverick’s UFC 291 accusations: ‘It wasn’t my intention to fight dirty with you’

Weekend Post Show.

Paul-Diaz Post-Fight Press Conference.

Free fight.

Full fights.

Latest PFL Playoff Highlights.







Unique NSC.


KO of the week.

Won’t happen… but imagine.




Johnny Muñoz Jr. (12-3) vs. Aoriqileng (24-10); UFC Vegas 80, Oct. 7

Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0) vs. Brent Primus (); Bellator 300, Oct. 7

Last Week’s Results:

Friday: 56% of 304 total votes answered “UFC Nashville” when asked, “Which event are you looking forward to more tomorrow night?”

Thursday: 57% of 573 total votes answered “Jake Paul” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Paul defeated Nate Diaz via unanimous decision in Dallas, Texas this past Saturday night.

Wednesday: 62% of 796 total votes answered “Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira 2 winner” when asked, “Who should Justin Gaethje fight next?”

Tuesday: 92% of 488 total votes answered “Cory Sandhagen” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Sandhagen defeated Rob Font via unanimous decision in UFC Nashville’s main event.

Monday: 59% of 740 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Have we seen the last of Tony Ferguson in the UFC?”

Today’s exit poll:


If healthy, is Dillashaw still a title threat at bantamweight?

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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