TJ Dillashaw hasn’t competed in the UFC since he attempted to dethrone then-featherweight king Henry Cejudo in the UFC on ESPN 1 main event back in January 2019. After suffering a TKO loss, the bantamweight champion was hit with a two-year suspension and forced to relinquish his title as a result of a positive drug test.
Plenty has changed in his short break away from the UFC, with Cejudo moving up and taking his place at the top of the bantamweight division. But despite plenty of competition at 135 pounds, Dillashaw says he was told he’d step right back into title contention when he returns to the Octagon in less than a year.
“I was told I would get that title fight when I came back, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Dillashaw told MMA Junkie. “I made a mistake – I don’t own rights to anything. But if it was my choice, it would be title fight, if not top-five to prove I should get that title fight. I think that makes sense.”
Cejudo is currently slated to fight Jose Aldo at UFC 250, but called on Dominick Cruz — who hasn’t fought in more than three years — as his potential replacement. Should Dillashaw not step right back into title contention, he may have his work cut out for him with emerging bantamweight standouts such as Marlon Moraes, Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.