UFC Bantamweight Champ T.J. Dillashaw Hopeful for Summer Return

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 8, 2015
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.


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