‘It’s just too much, I’m out right now’

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Former UFC bantamweight champion and former champion was finally able to compete in the ring after his retirement. T.J. Dillashaw He has spoken out about his decision to leave MMA after 22 professional bouts.

Dillashaw (17-5 MMA and 13-5 UFC), sustained a shoulder injury while training for the title fight against Aljamain sterling at UFC 280. Dillashaw did not withdraw from that fight. Although his shoulder was injured during preparation, Dillashaw still traveled all the way to Abu Dhabi confident that he could complete the task and become a three-time champion.

Unfortunately, his plans went up in flames quickly after his shoulder popped out in the first round against Sterling, which led to a second-round loss, and another shoulder surgery when he returned to the U.S. Dillashaw admits that retirement was a conversation that he had with his wife prior to his last fight, but it wasn’t a certainty.

Dillashaw has been retired from the UFC active roster.

“I went and had a shoulder surgery four weeks ago, and the doctor just kind of like, had a raw conversation we me,” Dillashaw told Brendan Schaub on “Food Truck Diaries.” “He was like, ‘Hey, man. It’s time to make a decision. This is your third shoulder surgery in the last three years.’ … It just got me thinking about life and my son, and being able to be active with him, and swing a golf club with him – just live life outside of fighting, you know?”

Dillashaw (36) did not want the entire world to know about his retirement in such a way. Designs of breaking the news on his terms were spoiled just a couple of days after notifying the UFC of his decision when the algorithm-based Twitter account UFC Roster Watch notified its followers of Dillashaw’s removal from the active roster.

The former champ, regardless of how the public heard it, seems content with his decision, even though he isn’t in a better position to compete.

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“To go out like that, to not actually put a true performance together, because I still believe I’m the best in the weight class,” Dillashaw said about making a “bittersweet” exit. “I go out there healthy, I get that belt back, especially against a fighter like Aljamain, who’s such a great matchup for me. Hence why I took the fight even though I was injured.”

The injury occurred just seconds after Sterling was defeated by Sterling. The same shoulder injury that appeared during training camp was again visible in the heat against the defending champion.

Dillashaw acknowledged that shoulder dislocations can look very bad and that he prepared his team for them to deal with it.

“I gameplanned for it,” Dillashaw said. “I had a meeting with my doctor, I was like, ‘Hey, will you do a video of the best way to put my shoulder back into the socket, because it might happen?’ … Just like with any technique, or diet, or weight cut, you got to game plan it all. And so, I just gameplanned worst-case scenario, and unfortunately, it happened.”

Dillashaw said that he has put his fight career behind him and is now focusing on his business and his family. After sending a message to UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell, Dillashaw admits that it won’t be easy to disassociate himself from being a UFC champion-caliber athlete, but believes it will come with time.

“I went and saw the doctor, and with my son and everything going on, I was just like, ‘F*ck this, I’m done,’” Dillashaw said. “I wrote a letter to Hunter and said, ‘Hey man, thank you for what you’ve done for the sport, and the platform you’ve given me and the name I’ve been able to build because of it. But it’s just too much, I’m out right now.’”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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