Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy or sign-up through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more but we’ll get a small commission that helps me in running this blog. Read the Disclosure page.
Former UFC bantamweight champion American TJ Dillashaw explained why he chose compatriot Cory Sandhagen as his opponent. According to T.J., he could have faced any fighter in the top 5 rankings, but his choice was in favor of Cory.
Dillashaw returns to the Octagon after a two-year suspension from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testing positive for EPO just days before his fight with Henry Sejudo at UFC Brooklyn in 2019. He again received the right to participate in competitions. this year, so the search for an opponent for the former lightweight champion was quickly started.
While he had no shortage of opponents to choose from given how many top bantamweight challenged him, TJ Dillashaw eventually settled on Sandhagen for his comeback. He explained why he took the fight in a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
“It definitely wasn’t the only option, but like I said. Everyone in the top five called me out and so it wasn’t the only option, but it is the one that is great. I love it. I love this fight. He’s got a lot of hype behind him. He’s got two good wins [and] people are blowing him up right now. It’s such a good fight for me and to get right back on top, right where I left off. I’ll be having the belt around my waist by the end of the year.”
“I had no problem telling him all that advice because I like Cory Sandhagen. He’s become a little bit of a douche lately, but talking that [expletive] which is what he’s gotta do. That’s the name of the game, but I like Cory Sandhagen. I like all of his coaches. I like Elevation Fight Team, but it’s business. We’re gonna go out there and handle it and I’m gonna come back and get my belt.”
The call to return to fight for the title after beating Sandhagen was certainly a motivating factor for TJ Dillashaw, but not the only one. Dillashaw and Sandhagen share a common history stemming from previous training sessions that happened when Dillashaw was still training with Team Alpha Male prior to their infamous split.
According to renowned ESPN insider and journalist Brett Okamota, former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will return to the Octagon on May 8 to face fellow countryman Corey Sandhagen. It is not yet known where the fight will take place, but most likely, the fight will become the main event of the tournament.
TJ Dillashaw is confident in his chances against Sandhagen and hopes to face the winner of the rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan after this fight.