TJ Dillashaw to undergo third shoulder surgery after UFC 280 injury, plans to return in 2023

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TJ Dillashaw does not have the word retirement in his plans just yet. Dillashaw fought with a terribly compromised shoulder against UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 280. Dillashaw is heading into surgery after a Round 2 TKO loss.

Dillashaw had significant problems with his shoulder heading into UFC 280. Dillashaw told ESPN he expects to undergo his second left shoulder surgery and third shoulder surgery overall since 2019. There is no confirmed date for the procedure, but Dillashaw expects it to take place next month. The former UFC champion anticipates it will take “another year” before he can resume competition.

“Nine months until I can start training rough and tough, and then making sure everything is healed up,” Dillashaw said. I’ve had shoulder surgery before and I’d say another year, maybe, to compete. Either a year to compete, or a year to get back to a training camp.”

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Dillashaw’s left shoulder popped out at least twice during his fight against Sterling. It left him terribly compromised and contributed to ineffective defense against Sterling’s dominant top control. Post-fight, Dillashaw revealed that he blew out his shoulder in April and that it popped in and out “about 20 times” during training camp. Dillashaw informed referee Mark Goddard of the injury shortly before the fight. It is a condition that Dillashaw has dealt with in the past, although he confessed it was a touch more severe this time.

“I’ve done that in many other fight camps before,” Dillashaw said. “I did talk to the referee beforehand, and this shoulder was worse than when I fought [Cody Garbrandt in 2017 and 2018], but it was something I’ve dealt with. I told [the referee] not to stop the fight because I would get it back in its socket. I was expecting to get it back in while I was fighting.”

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