Sport Returning T.J. Dillashaw wants title fight or top five opponent: 'The ultimate goal is to be champion'
Timberwolves fire head coach Ryan Saunders
Timberwolves fire head coach Ryan Saunders
Despite his long layoff, T.J. Dillashaw isn’t looking for a tune-up fight.
The former two-time UFC bantamweight champion is looking to pick up right where he left off and face the winner of the title fight between champion Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling, which takes place aton March 6.
Dillashaw (16-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC), who was stripped of his bantamweight title, is coming off aand has been eligible to compete since January. Though he doesn’t have a fight booked yet, he’s happy to jump straight into a title fight on his return.
“I’m ready to go straight for the belt, if that’s the opportunity that comes at me because I know Yan wants it.” Dillashaw told Mike Swick on the“He’s already been vocally talking about it and we’ll see what happens on March 6 when he fights Sterling. He’s got a tough test ahead of him, but that’s the fight he wants. I didn’t leave this sport by losing my belt. He knows there’s a lot of speculation if he’s the real champ because he hasn’t beaten the champion to get that belt, so he wants it. As well as that, I’m the biggest draw for him right now to try to fight.”
Henry Cejudo: Cory Sandhagen probably best bantamweight other than me
According to , the UFC title fight between champion Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling won't determine the best bantamweight. Since former two-division champ Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) retired and vacated the 135-pound title last May, a new champ in Yan was crowned, and…Since former two-division champ Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) retired and vacated the 135-pound title last May, a new champ in Yan was crowned, and now the Russian is gearing up for his first title defense at UFC 259.
Dillashaw said he hopes the fact he’s been out of action for so long will actually play in his favor and, if Yan retains his title on March 6, the former champion is hopeful that Yan will want to face him next.
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“Maybe he’s thinking me coming back for my first fight might be the best time to catch me as well, too. To try and catch me slipping. But I mean, that’s what I want. The ultimate goal for me is to be the champion. The greatest things come to you when you’re champion, the goal is to be champion, so why not get out there and get it done.”
If Dillashaw doesn’t get the title fight, he’s not short of options. With the likes of Cory Sandhagen and Rob Font both calling him out, the former champion said he’s willing to take out any top-ranked opponent to regain his throne.
Magomed Ankalaev targets UFC's light heavyweight top five with his six-fight winning streak
LAS VEGAS – thinks it's time to test his skills in the upper echelon of his division. The light heavyweight picked up his sixth straight win when he outpointed Nikita Krylov (27-8 MMA, 8-6 UFC) for a unanimous dec ision in the UFC Fight Night 186 co-main event Saturday in Las Vegas. Ankalaev thinks a high-ranked opponent is overdue. And though Krylov was No. 8 in the UFC’s official light heavyweight rankings, the Russian fighter wants an even higher ranked opponent.
“I’m in a good situation,” Dillashaw said. “I think everyone in the top five has called me out. I want to come back and fight the best. I’m 35 years old now, I’ve got a lot of things in life going on, so I want to come back and prove that I’m the best bantamweight of all time, and I want to come back and fight the best. If that’s for the belt right away then so be it. If that’s fighting someone else in the top five, awesome.
“Every person that’s called me out, I’ve said yes to the UFC, so that’s just showing them that I’m eager to get back in there. So it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s someone that’s at the top of the game, because I’m gonna climb up and get that belt back fast.”MORE:
Brandon Moreno targeting UFC title rematch in April, but waiting for Deiveson Figueiredo .
is ready to go. But for now, he has to play a waiting game. Healthy and training, Moreno (18-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) hopes a UFC flyweight title rematch against champion (20-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC) is around the corner – ideally, April. For now, however, Moreno claims the ball is in Fi gueiredo’s court. “I’ve been in the gym since the fight, training extremely hard,” Moreno recently told MMA Junkie using a translator. “In my conversations with my manager, Jason House, I told him that I’m ready for April, and he’s pushing the UFC hard. But apparently, Figueiredo thinks a little differently than us.