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T.J. Dillashaw says bantamweight division needs him back: ‘I’m still the champion of the world’

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T.J. Dillashaw will have to sit out until 2021 after being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) but the former bantamweight champion believes the division needs him back as soon as possible.

“That bantamweight division needs me back,” Dillashaw said in a recent interview with Helen Yee (h/t BJPenn.com). “They need the entertainment back and they need me to come back and throw some wrinkles in the weight class and create some tension.”

Although Dillashaw’s reputation has taken a big hit after being caught using EPO (an injectable-only performance-enhancing drug), the 33-year-old maintains that he is the rightful bantamweight champion and should be granted an immediate title shot upon his return.

“Me. When I come back. That’s why they need me back, they need someone to cause some fire, cause some rift. That is my weight class, I had to give that belt up and fair enough, I understand,” Dillashaw said. “I f****d up, and I had to relinquish it. But, I didn’t lose. That’s my belt, I’m still calling it my belt. I’m still the champion of the world. When I come back I will reclaim it.”

The current UFC bantamweight champ is Henry Cejudo, the man who TKO’d Dillashaw in a flyweight title bout at UFC Fight Night 143 right before TJ was suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

The earliest Dillashaw can return to the Octagon is Jan. 19, 2021.

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