Between rounds during his UFC Vegas 33 main event fight with Cory Sandhagen, T.J. Dillashaw told his corner that he had heard something “pop” in his knee.
He wasn’t wrong. And while he went on the win the bout via split decision following an exciting back-and-forth five rounds, Dillashaw’s next undertaking will be surgery. Taking to social media, Dillashaw revealed late Monday that he had ruptured is LCL.
“Went in for a mri today, found out that I suffered a displaced Bucket Handle tear of the Lateral Meniscus and a Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) rupture at the end of the first round landing ground and pound while being lazy in a compromised position,” Dillashaw wrote on his official Instagram account. “The good news is that these tears are repairable and will have a very speedy recovery. Going in for surgery in the next couple days. Loved being in the cage even though I had to push through some adversities to grit out the win. Thank you for the support, it’s belt season now.”
Belt season may have to wait, of course, while Dillashaw heals up.
The fight against Sandhagen was the former champ’s first since 2019, where he was knocked out by then-flyweight champ Henry Cejudo in a failed bid to claim a second title. Just weeks later, Dillashaw was forced to relinquish his bantamweight title after testing positive for EPO, a banned substance that garnered him a two-year suspension care of USADA (the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency).
Assuming all drug tests come back negative, however, Dillashaw could be back in the title hunt soon. Both champ Aljamain Sterling and current challenger Petr Yan have expressed interest in fighting Dillashaw. That pair will first take part in a rematch at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi in October, after their first fight ended with Sterling winning the belt via DQ care of an illegal knee by Yan.