TJ Dillashaw pops shoulder in round one of UFC bantamweight title fight, somehow carries on
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TJ Dillashaw popped his shoulder in the early exchanges of his UFC bantamweight title fight against Aljamain Sterling.
Dillashaw reportedly went into the fight with an injury and almost straight after the bell tolled in the co-main event at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, he landed awkwardly on his left shoulder.
The challenger was in immediate discomfort and somehow fought on with his shoulder completely popped out and hanging off.
He took a serious amount of punishment but managed to see out the opening round. His shoulder was then popped back in by his coach on the stool and the doctor allowed him to continue.
Sterling capitalised in the second round when Dillashaw's shoulder popped again and after a takedown, the Funkmaster secured the TKO victory to retain his undisputed bantamweight championship.
But Dillashaw, who won the bantamweight title in 2014, deserves enormous credit for a valiant effort with such a brutal injury.
The former champion quite rightly lost a lot of supporters when he tested positive for banned substance EPO in 2019 and was hit with a two-year ban as a result.
Yet he might just have got a lot of fight fans back on his side due to the guts and resilience he displayed.
Dillashaw is one tough mother fucker. Unreal. 5 mins against the best in the world with your shoulder hanging off.— Andrew Schulz 👑HEZI (@andrewschulz) October 22, 2022
In his post-fight interview in the Octagon, Dillashaw revealed he had notified the referee before the fight that he was carrying the injury from his camp and pleaded with him to not stop the contest.
The official adhered to those demands and let Dillashaw go through the pain barrier but in the end it was massively hindering his performance and the stoppage came.
Sterling, who has the most wins in bantamweight history, called out the likes of Henry Cejudo and Sean O'Malley afterwards - in addition to demanding Dana White buy him a new car.
O'Malley bested Petr Yan in a controversial split-decision win earlier on in the night.