T.J. Dillashaw was caught cheating and hasn't fought in years, but his training partner, Bellator star Juan Archuleta, says T.J.'s back, better than ever, and ready to whoop ass!!
Remember, 34-year-old Dillashaw -- the former UFC bantamweight champ -- was popped for taking PED's before fighting Henry Cejudo in 2019 ... and was suspended 2 years.
Many people in the MMA world thought Dillashaw's reign at the top was done.
But, Archuleta -- T.J.'s longtime training partner -- says that's flat out fake news.
"I honestly think he'll be a lot better, ya know? You get that time off, and you get to rest the brain, rest the body. That guy's always pedal to the metal," Archuleta tells TMZ Sports.
"He gets to recover his whole body. People don't know he was dealing with 2 shoulder surgeries going into that [Cejudo] fight."
Dillashaw is scary ... an "a lot better" Dillashaw is downright frightening ... considering the guy has beaten up beasts like Cody Garbrandt (twice) and Renan Barao.
Dillashaw -- who admitted to using the banned substance, EPO -- is eligible to return to the Octagon in January 2021 ... and Juan says he'll immediately be ready to challenge for the title.
"T.J.'s doing well, man. He's getting big, strong, recovering from his double surgery, the shoulder surgery that he had. Of course, his suspension is coming to an end, so we're getting him ready so that way when his suspension is lifted he's gonna be ready to be in the title mix."
Speaking of titles ... 32-year-old Archuleta -- who also trains with Brian Ortega and Cub Swanson -- has a HUGE fight coming up. He's taking on Patrick Mix for the 135 lb. title at Bellator 246 on September 12.