TJ Dillashaw returns to the Octagon for the first time since January 2019 when he takes on Cory Sandhagen. Can he return in style, or is it a step too far?
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Cory Sandhagen v TJ Dillashaw UFC Fight Night Tips & Predictions
Before TJ Dillashaw was handed an overall two-year suspension from the world of Mixed Martial Arts for failing a drug test, he had a record of 16 wins and four defeats from 20 bouts and was a two-time Bantamweight champion.
Dillashaw was handed a two-year ban from the sport after testing positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) before and after his Flyweight title fight against Henry Cejudo.
Up until that point, Dillashaw had beaten Cody Garbrandt twice, Raphael Assuncao twice, John Lineker and Joe Soto, but all those victories have since been tarnished as we don’t know if the illegal substances in his system had a hand in those wins.
He will return to the Octagon against a fighter who seems to get better with every fight in Cory Sandhagen.
The Sandman has a professional record of 14 wins and two defeats, while he has a 7-1 record since making his UFC debut against Austin Arnett back in 2018.
He made his debut in UFC in the featherweight division before moving to bantamweight for his second bout. His only UFC defeat was at the hands of Aljamian Sterling at UFC 250.
Since that defeat, Sandhagen has won back-to-back fights against Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar – earning the Performance of the Night accolade in both bouts as well.
Inactivity is a big thing in UFC, you can do as much training as possible, but you never know what standard you are at until you are in a real fight. I think two years out of the Octagon is too long to come back and have someone like Sandhagen as your first opponent.
Dillashaw is on a hiding to nothing. If he wins, everyone will suggest he is performing illegally again, but if he loses the same people will say all of his previous wins only happened because he was breaking the rules.
There is no place in sport for drug cheats, I think Dillashaw is looking for a decent payday, I cannot see him troubling Sandhagen and I am backing the Sandman to knock TJ out in the second round.
Cory Sandhagen v TJ Dillashaw UFC Fight Night Tips & Predictions: Fighter’s Predictions
TJ Dillashaw: “If I thought I got somewhere due to PEDs, I wouldn’t be calling out Cory Sandhagen. I wouldn’t be asking for someone in the top five. I wouldn’t be knowing that I’m getting my belt back. I’m going to be a fucking animal when I get back in the cage. This is the real title fight. Watching Aljamain and Petr fight, I wasn’t very impressed. I know Aljamain beat Cory but I wasn’t impressed with that performance. I think this is the real title fight, I get to come out and prove myself and there’s some pressure, for sure.”
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