Shocking news broke last week that former 2-time UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw tested positive it is pretty unclear what is next for the 135-pound division. This was a huge blow to Dillashaw as he announced that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) found an "Adverse finding" from a test following his bout with UFC Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo this past January. In a bout that was controversial as Dillashaw lost the fight in 32 seconds via TKO.
Following the announcement TJ who has 16 wins and 4 losses in his career also announced he would be vacating the UFC bantamweight championship as it would not be fair to the rest of the division if he held the title while under suspension. The 33-year-old former champion plans on dealing with this recent test failure accordingly as he announced it on his Instagram. Many were expecting a fight announcement involving a fight between Dillashaw and #1 ranked bantamweight "Magic" Marlon Moraes for the title or a rematch with Cejudo rather than a drug test failure.
With the proclaimed greatest bantamweight ever being suspended for 1 year which was retroactive since the time of the bout with Henry Cejudo in January we will more than likely see a new champion crowned before the end of the summer. Though we do not necessarily know who the challengers will be for the title, Marlon Moraes will more than likely be one of the contenders. Moraes is currently on a 4 fight win streak as he protested for a championship bout in his most recent submission victory over #2 ranked bantamweight Raphael Assuncao.
Potential contender #3 ranked bantamweight the "Funk Master" Aljamain Sterling has been on a tear as he is on a 3 fight win streak as his most recent victory was over Jimmie Riveria via unanimous decision. It would make sense to have a rematch between #1 ranked Marlon Moraes and Sterling for the now vacant UFC Bantamweight title as they a both in the right position to fight for the title. The first time these two fighters met Marlon knocked out Aljamain with a knee in the 1st round.
#4 ranked bantamweight Pedro Munhoz put up a convincing performance at UFC 235 when he knocked out former UFC bantamweight champion #6 ranked Cody Garbrandt in the 1st round which was considered fight of the night. There are a handful of fighters that could possibly fight for the vacant title since T.J. suspension. The only problem is it is kind of unclear who it will be.
Former bantamweight champion #5 ranked fighter and commentator Dominick Cruz recently got injured once again as the injury was to his shoulder. He then announced that he is expected to be out for a year. There is not a guarantee when Dominick will be back as he cannot shake off the injuries. Top prospect undefeated "Suga" Sean O'Malley is expected to return from suspension very soon as his suspension will be up at the end of the month. It will be interesting to see where he will fit into the division with T.J. Dillashaw's absence.