In 2019, disgraced former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw was suspended for two years for PED use. He didn't take a tainted supplement, or fail to read a label, or eat meat in China; he shot EPO into his butt cheek. The suspension is set to end on January 18, 2021.
Henry Cejudo beat Marlon Moraes to win the vacated bantamweight title, defended it once vs. Dominick Cruz, and MMA retired. Petr Yan then beat Jose Aldo to win the again vacated belt in July. Now Dillashaw wants an immediate title shot upon his return.
"I want that title fight right away," said Dillashaw to Brett Okamoto for ESPN. "You've got a guy in Petr Yan who beat someone for the belt that is 0-2 in the division. Jose Aldo has two losses [at 135 pounds]; you beat him for the title and you're calling yourself a champion? That belt has changed hands every fight. No one there has dominated. That's my belt, and I want to come back to a title fight."
Yan's first title defense was supposed to be vs. Aljamain Sterling at UFC 256 earlier this month, but the fight has been delayed until early in 2021. With Dillashaw returning in January and the next title shot spoken for, he's open to fighting Cory Sandhagen, who is game, but is less interested in former teammate and current bitter rival Urijah Faber.
"That's a little bit of a joke," said Dillashaw. "I wouldn't mind beating his ass, but he's not even in the top 15. I'm looking to fight for a title and the guy is not even in the top 15. I guess if they made it worth my while ... I would love to whoop his ass; it would feel good, but it's kind of a joke.
"[Sandhagen] wants to fight me because he knows that's his way to the title. The title shot is mine, and he wants to fight me because he wants to fight for the title. If I have to fight someone else, it better be in the top 5."
"I'll be a three-time bantamweight champion. That's a guarantee, and it's going to happen sooner than people think."