The glorious career of American UFC fighter T.J. Dillashaw is over! Loud, victorious, at times very scandalous. He went from just a kid from a small town of 5,000 people to a mixed martial arts superstar. And two championship belts are the best proof of Viper’s greatness.
Dillashaw came to the UFC back in 2011. He went straight to The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale in Las Vegas, where he lost to John Dodson. The failure didn’t break the ambitious fighter, who began stamping wins. Three years later, T.J.’s efforts were rewarded. He won the title fight and won the bantamweight belt with a straight decision over the Brazilian Renan Baran. After two successful defenses, Gadjuka still stumbled, but continued to work on his name.
A second belt came to Dillashaw in 2017, when he brilliantly defeated compatriot Cody Garbrandt. Admittedly, that story didn’t have the most satisfying development. After one successful defense, T.J. lost to Henry Sehudo, with whom he planned to fight for the title. But the fight for the belt never happened. Dillashaw tested positive for doping, a real tragedy for the fans of his talent. T.J. had an impeccable reputation at the time, considered one of the main assets of the UFC. And the high-profile scandal was the beginning of the end. Dillashaw gave up his belt and received a long suspension.
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Garbrandt, the main victim of the doping scandal, reacted the brightest to it. He didn’t mince words; he was outraged by the situation. T.J. was the one who took away Cody’s chance of a lifetime: “Can’t compete like a man! Lied to us all these years.”
Hate and disqualification didn’t break T.J. He returned to the octagon, and did so quite successfully. The win over Corey Sandhagen made one believe in a real comeback for The Viper. Once again, however, the denouement turned out to be dramatic. Dillashaw won the right to hold the title shot against Aljamein Sterling. But the gift of fate could not be used. T.J. was injured before the fight, so the fight turned into a real beating. And afterwards, he had to undergo complex shoulder surgery. Dillashaw couldn’t recover from that. The decision to end Dillashaw’s career seemed like a logical conclusion to the story.