T.J. Dillashaw could be back in the Octagon by July. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
T.J. Dillashaw is looking to fight sometime this summer after a rib injury forced him to withdraw from a scheduled bantamweight title defense at UFC 186.
Mike Roberts, Dillashaw’s manager, informed UFC Tonight that the Team Alpha Male standout could be ready to make a return as early as July.
Dillashaw was set to rematch Renan Barao at the Bell Centre in Montreal on April 25, but that bout was scrapped when the champion suffered a fractured rib in training. As a result, a flyweight title tilt between Demetrious Johnson and Kyoji Horiguchi was promoted to the UFC 186 main event. The UFC is likely to rebook Dillashaw and Barao at a future event, but nothing has been made official by the Las Vegas-based promotion at this time.
Dillashaw upset Barao to capture the 135-pound strap at UFC 173, finishing his favored opponent with a head kick and follow-up punches at the 2:26 mark of round five. The bantamweights were initially set to rematch at UFC 177, but Barao pulled out at the last minute due to a bad weight cut.
Instead, Dillashaw successfully defended his title with a fifth-round stoppage of fill-in opponent Joe Soto. The 29-year-old Californian has not competed since that Aug. 30 triumph.