never really had a chance against Aljamain

The former bantamweight champion entered the
UFC 280
co-main event with an existing injury to his shoulder,
and it flared up very quickly in their title bout on Saturday night
at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. With Dillashaw clearly compromised,
Sterling dominated en route to a technical knockout stoppage at the
3:44 mark of Round 2.

In his post-fight interview, Dillashaw revealed that the shoulder
had been giving him problems since the beginning of his camp, and
that continued into the fight.

“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
. “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.

“That’s why I was talking so much s—t about his weak standup
because I didn’t want him to wrestle. I knew that was the case. I
told the ref in the back before we came out that most likely my
shoulder is going to pop out. If it does I’ll get it back in.
Please do not stop it.”

Dillashaw somehow made it through the opening round despite the
injury, but it was only a matter of time before Sterling imposed
his will, and “The Funk Master” put his foe away with a salvo of
ground-and-pound from top position to retain the bantamweight

“I just tried to control the hands the best I could. I knew I
wouldn’t be able to scramble to my feet because I couldn’t push off
my arm. I thought I’d be able to get it back in the socket but I
wasn’t able to. I just knew I needed to weather the storm in that
first round, come out and hopefully land some big shots …
Unfortunately that second round I couldn’t push up on my shoulder,”
Dillashaw said. “Hat’s off to Aljamain for doing what he does.
Great win.”

Dillashaw, who was sidelined for two years from 2019 to 2021 due to
an anti-doping violation, could have pulled out of the fight. But
he decided that trying to push through the injury was preferred
giving up a title shot.

“Unfortunately it was just in my head. It was just a tough one to
come into,” he said.”Again, I apologize to the weight class because
it’s a stacked weight class. I took up a position, but I wasn’t
gonna wait another year to get a shot.”

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T.J. Dillashaw Says He Dislocated Shoulder ‘A Good 20 Times’ During Training Camp

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