T.J. Dillashaw had grand plans of becoming a three-time bantamweight champion ahead of UFC 280. But those plans were derailed by an apparent shoulder injury that was clearly evident during his co-headliner with Aljamain Sterling.
Dillashaw’s left shoulder was visibly dislocated as early as the first minutes of the opening round. And while his corner was able to pop it back in, it eventually got re-injured in the second round, leaving him fighting with one arm.
The 36-year-old former champion lost via TKO in the second round. And as he told Daniel Cormier in the Octagon interview, it was an injury he’d been dealing with for nearly half a year now.
“I gotta apologize to the weight class. Kind of held it up. I completely blew my shoulder out at the end of April, as soon as I was getting ready for this (fight). I probably dislocated it a good 20 times throughout training camp.
“This is by far the toughest training camp I’ve been through because of that, emotionally. That’s why I was talking so much shit about his weak stand-up ‘cause I didn’t want him to wrestle. I knew that was the case.”
Dillashaw says he even told the referee about his situation right before he walked out.
“I told the ref in the back before we came out that most likely, the shoulder’s gonna pop out. If it does, I’ll get it back in, please do not stop it. Unfortunately, in the second round, I couldn’t push off my shoulder.
“This was a tough one to come into. Again, I apologize to the weight class ‘cause it’s a stacked weight class. I took up a position but I wasn’t gonna wait another year to get a shot.”
UFC president Dana White was asked about it during his post-fight media scrum, and whether or not Dillashaw could be in trouble with the athletic commission for it. Here was the response:
“How could the athletic commission know if he doesn’t tell us? He looked good, he was in great shape. It’s not like he came in out of shape or he looked like he was injured or whatever. That’s something that he should’ve told us.”
After UFC 280, Dillashaw drops to a record of 17-5.
About the author