Dillashaw, who has held the UFC's undisputed 135-pound title twice in his career, sees Yan as an interim champion instead.
Speaking to ESPN MMA's Brett Okamoto, TJ Dillashaw shared exactly what he thinks about the bantamweight division's reigning titleholder:
"I want that title. I want it right away, because you got a guy, Petr Yan, that beat someone for the belt that was 0-2 in the weight division. Jose Aldo had two losses and he beat him for the title, so how are you calling yourself a champion? To me, you’re an interim champion. That belt has changed hands every fight. There’s been no one there that’s been sitting there, being dominant. That is my belt, so I want to come back and I want that title fight."
Dillashaw also touched in the upcoming Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling bout, which was scheduled for UFC 256, but was ultimately postponed after Yan pulled out of the fight:
"I know Aljamain Sterling and Yan are fighting, which is deserved. Sterling’s been looking good, he’s dominant. Get that fight out of the way, then I want the winner. I was hoping they were gonna fight on the 12th, but that got pushed back, so let’s see what comes of it."
TJ Dillashaw also shared that he has kept himself in top shape even though he is still suspended:
"There’s no messing around, I don’t want no tune-up fights, I’ve been in the gym, I’ve been helping Juan Archuleta get ready for his fights, so it’s not like I been just hanging out. I’m in the best shape, I’ve put on a good 10-pounds of muscle, and now I’m starting to lean it back down."
TJ Dillashaw targets immediate title shot upon UFC return
Former two-time UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw is looking for an immediate title shot when he finally makes his Octagon return.
Dillashaw is currently serving a two-year suspension imposed by USADA, which is set to end at the start of 2021.
When he does get back into action, TJ Dillashaw wants to begin with a shot at a third run as UFC champion:
"[The UFC] knows that I want the title fight, and I’m not looking to fight the day I come back either. I prefer to fight more like March, I want to get to the holidays, enjoy Christmas with my son. I got some business ventures that I got going on, it’s gonna be really busy right now. I’m obviously in the gym as well too, so I’d like to get into camp after the holidays. Like I said, I don’t have to fight for a living no more, so I get to select what’s right for me and my lifestyle."
Dillashaw, who will be 35 by the time he enters the Octagon again, is looking to bounce back as well, with his last UFC appearance ending in a stunning 32-second TKO loss to Henry Cejudo in January of 2019.
Will TJ Dillashaw get the immediate title shot that he's looking for once he gets back?