JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – T.J. Dillashaw shall be watching the co-predominant match of UFC 273 up shut to dimension up his seemingly subsequent opponent.
The gentle two-time bantamweight champion is on the mend from a pair of surgeries, but his restoration is drawing shut its discontinue and he’s seeking a return to competitors against the winner of Saturday’s title unification bout between Aljamain Sterling (20-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) and Petr Yan (16-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC).
“I’m going reasonably ethical, knee restoration from my last battle has been a longer boulevard than I hoped,” Dillashaw suggested MMA Junkie. “I hoped to be ready first quarter of this Three hundred and sixty five days, but I had so valuable work accomplished, that I the truth is ethical bought surgical treatment three weeks previously to fetch the scar tissue cleaned out. Nevertheless I’m on a light flit to being recovered. In three weeks I ought to be 100 percent, so splendid timing to let these guys resolve out who the champ’s gonna be and for me to fetch my belt relief.”
Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC), who returned from a two-Three hundred and sixty five days USADA suspension to defeat Cory Sandhagen by nick up determination at UFC on ESPN 27 in July, acknowledged it used to be a precedence to attend UFC 273 and peek his seemingly subsequent opponent in particular person.
“I used to be already coming on my derive on the least,” Dillashaw acknowledged. “Then they (UFC) fetch been take care of, oh you’re coming, be a guest fighter. I desired to be here, I desired to peek the battle. I’m gonna advertise on legend of search for, man, that’s my legacy is getting that belt relief, and being here is valuable for that. I don’t slouch to most of the fights, I don’t even watch that nearly all the fights except I the truth is fetch some non-public hobby of presumably somebody I’m stopping or a friend that’s stopping. So, this one I the truth is fetch my eyes initiate for.”
Dillashaw acknowledged he’ll be firmly planted in his cageside seat for Sterling and Yan to rematch. The pair fought 13 months previously at UFC 259, with Sterling claiming the belt by disqualification after Yan landed an unlawful knee that rate him the belt.
After seeing the preliminary battle play out earlier than the unlawful strike, Dillashaw is assured the rematch is going in Yan’s direction – and he needs it that system.
“He bought that title gather by DQ and great thing about performed it up rather too, appropriate? So, I deem Petr Yan’s the real champ,” Dillashaw acknowledged. “I deem he’s going to illustrate that. Test, we’re on this planet of MMA, one thing else can happen. Sterling’s a the truth is solid competitor, nice grappler, all-around athlete, but I deem Petr Yan is extra of the fighter. He’s bought that mentality and he’s the man I search files from to battle increasing here on the discontinue of the Three hundred and sixty five days.
“Aljamain positively has to out-grapple him to fetch the battle accomplished. I point out, to be appropriate, he would presumably fetch to put up him. I don’t deem he’s going so that you simply should preserve that meander up to preserve him down and his placing is ethical no longer harmful sufficient to fetch Yan assume in it. So, I deem Yan ethical has to follow the identical sport notion he did last time. Wait and see, be obvious to defend the takedowns, and great thing about dominate him.”
If things play out to his expectation and Yan wins the battle, Dillashaw acknowledged he’ll be ready to area for the strap later this Three hundred and sixty five days. He doesn’t care about where it happens, and would even be gripping to slouch back and forth to Yan’s aspect of the globe to fetch relief the belt he held twice earlier than.
“Yan might be the man I are attempting to battle,” Dillashaw acknowledged. “I’d relate take care of, September, October. Shoot, they’re going to Abu Dhabi October 22, I deem that might be reasonably dope. I’ve the least bit times desired to head to the Center East. More uncomplicated for him, he’s Russian, appropriate? So, I deem that might be an ethical time.
“I’ve already proved myself. I came relief off that suspension, fought the No. 1 contender on one f*cking leg, excuse my language, and used to be ready to fetch that gather. Now it’s about getting it for myself, getting that belt relief.”