Ex-Bantamweight Champ T.J. Dillashaw Informs UFC of Retirement

After one last failed run at Ultimate Fighting Championship gold, T.J. Dillashaw has elected to hang up the four-ounce gloves.

Dillashaw recently informed the UFC of his retirement, and the Twitter account UFC Roster Watch confirmed his removal from the promotion’s roster on Monday. Micheal Wonsover was first to report the news via Twitter. Dillashaw’s agent, Tiki Ghosn, later cofirmed the fighter’s retirement to ESPN.

Dillashaw is coming off a loss to Aljamain Sterling in a bantamweight title bout at UFC 280 on Oct. 22. After falling to Sterling via second-round technical knockout, Dillashaw revealed that he entered the bout with a shoulder injury. Rather than pull out of the contest, the Californian essentially fought Sterling with one arm because he didn’t want to wait on a title shot. Dillashaw underwent shoulder surgery on Nov. 10 and could require more procedures, according to ESPN.

“Yeah it popped out right away. I’ve got to apologize to the weight class, I kind of held it up. I completely blew my shoulder out end of April,” Dillashaw told Daniel Cormier in his post-fight interview at UFC 280. “I probably dislocated it a good 20 times throughout training camp. This is by far the toughest training camp I’d been through because of that emotionally.”

Dillashaw went 1-1 after serving a two-year USADA suspension for testing positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) in relation to a loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC Fight Night 143 in January 2019. Dillashaw relinquished the UFC’s bantamweight belt when news of the positive test came to light. He returned to edge Corey Sandhagen via split decision in the UFC on ESPN 27 headliner in July 2021 before suffering the lopsided defeat to Sterling.

Prior to the failed drug test that tarnished his reputation, Dillashaw built a resume that rivals most any bantamweight in the sport. He upset Renan Barao at UFC 173 to capture the 135-pound strap and defended it twice before falling to Dominick Cruz at UFC Fight Night 81. Dillashaw regained the title by stopping Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217 and defended it against “No Love” in a rematch at UFC 227. “The Ultimate Fighter 14” finalist went 13-5 within the Las Vegas-based promotion, earning notable wins against the likes of Sandhagen, Garbrandt (twice), John Lineker, Raphael Assuncao and Barao (twice).

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