Morning Report: T.J. Dillashaw to gauge outside business success before considering a future MMA return


T.J. Dillashaw isn’t saying no to an MMA return.

The MMA community was shocked to learn that Dillashaw, a former bantamweight champion and two-time winner of the title, was retiring for good. Dillashaw’s career comes to an end off the heels of a tough second-round TKO loss to current champion Aljamain Sterling.

Towards the tail-end of his run as an elite-level fighter, Dillashaw began getting involved in some health and cannabis businesses. Should a moment in time arise once fully healthy again, Dillashaw, 36, may simply be too busy to dedicate the necessary time needed for a comeback.

“We’ll see how successful things turn out for me outside the cage and just how busy I am and what life looks like,” Dillashaw told Food Truck Diaries. “I might be so busy — I already am kinda that busy — that I don’t even have time to come back. When I returned, it was because I needed to take care of business.

This business will pay me the rest of my days, while this fight is only paying me right now. But when I was eight weeks out it was like, ‘Alright, sorry, guys. You can reach me by phone if you have any business questions, but I won’t discuss anything that’s not related to my fight .'”


Dillashaw’s persistent injuries eventually led to his resignation. Before his most recent two appearances in the octagon, “The Viper” had to get through a two-year USADA suspension after testing positive for EPO against Henry Cejudo in Jan. 2019. Although he won a split decision over Cory Sandhagen in his return, he was still unable to compete with Cory Sandhagen for the title. He also suffered a severe knee injury which kept him out of action for another year.

Dillashaw’s clash with Sterling this past October is now infamous as well. The former champion disclosed directly following his loss that he’d been dealing with a significant shoulder injury since April and it became immediately evident as soon as the fight began. This specific injury was the last nail in the coffin for Dillashaw and his career as the overall toll on his body and family life became too much.

“No, [the plan wasn’t to retire after shoulder surgery]. Not really,” Dillashaw said. “It wasn’t at all. Interviews were like this: “This isn’t the end for me. It’s not the end of me. I’m back. It’s a kind of snowball effect.

“I have my 5-year-old son. He can only remember my two last fights. Sandhagen, I blow my knee out. During fight camp I am not daddy. I am and I’m not, but I’m in Colorado for half the training camp, I’m traveling, I’m gone, he misses me when I’m gone. I get back, I’m on one leg, I’m laid up, and can’t be playing with him the way I’d like to. Then my ‘Aljo’ fight, I’m out in Abu Dhabi for two weeks, get shoulder surgery. He’s told me probably a good 10 times, ‘Dada, I don’t want you to fight again.’ Ah, f***. You know what? It was then time to see the doctor. It still is tough.”


Confusion. Gilbert Burns: Either Jorge Masvidal or UFC lying about fight offer

Reaction. Jared Gordon reacts to Dana White’s “horrible plan” criticism of Paddy Pimblett’s fight

Frenemies. Conor McGregor keeps taking shots at Artem Lobov, ‘f ****** stupid’ after minor court victory

Opportunity. Jamahal Hill relishes UFC 283 title shot: ‘My biggest fear for a while was dying without knowing how truly good I was’

Accident. Deron Winn out of UFC Vegas 66 after fainting, falling down stairs at UFC Performance Institute

Departures. Dalcha Lungiambula, Benito Lopez were removed from the UFC roster after recent losses

Circus. KSI blasts Dillon Danis for no-show at first press conference: ‘He is terrified of me’

Free Agency. Matheus Nicolau confident he’ll get new contract after UFC Orlando win: ‘There’s no reason for them not to give me a new deal’

Praise. Rodolfo vieira: Gordon Ryan and Roger Gracie are neck-and-neck for GOAT status when grappling

Service. Billy Quarantillo laughs at having to ‘explain to my parents why I’m on OnlyFans,’ clears up misconceptions

Rankings. Is Sergei Pavlovich destined to become UFC heavyweight champion?


Between The Links.

UFC Vegas 66 must-see matchup.

Michal Olesiejczuk’s best knockouts.

RIZIN Confessions 111.

Sadibou Sy’s journey.

Izzy, Glover are linked up.

Merab in Jamaica.


Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses how judging can be fixed in MMA.


Probably many times.


PED talk.


Another win coming?


I can barely read that, Henry.

Both are wild in their own way.





Derrick Lewis (26-10, 1 NC) vs. Sergey Spivac (15-3); UFC Vegas 68, Feb. 4

Andre Fili (22-9) vs. Lucas Almeida (14-1); UFC Vegas 70, Feb. 25

Mario Bautista (11-2) vs. Guido Cannetti (10-7); UFC Vegas 71, March 11

Marvin Vettori (18-6-1) vs. Roman Dolidze (12-1); UFC 286, March 18


This makes me feel even more confident about my original feelings toward a possible return. He will only be back as long as he is winning. Title hopes are essentially gone at this point.

Happy Friday, all. Thanks for reading!


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