One of the greatest bantamweights of all time makes his highly anticipated return as TJ Dillashaw takes on one of the brightest contenders in the sport in Cory Sandhagen.
Cory Sandhagen, currently ranked No. 2, is coming off a spectacular first round flying knee knockout against former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Before the Edgar fight, Sandhagen went up against former title challenger Marlon Moraes last October. In a very impressive showing, Sandhagen knocked Moraes down with a spinning wheel kick and finished him with punches in the second round. Last June, Sandhagen was riding a seven-fight win streak when he met Aljamain Sterling to determine the number one contender for the UFC bantamweight title. Sterling made it look easy as he took Sandhagen’s back and submitted him a little over a minute into the first round. Sandhagen has since improved drastically since the loss and is on a quest to be the greatest bantamweight ever. Sandhagen has looked amazing over his last two performances and a win over the former champion will certainly make his next fight for the title.
TJ Dillashaw is a two-time UFC bantamweight champion who’s coming off a two-year suspension after he was caught using EPO when he fought Henry Cejudo for the UFC flyweight title in January 2019. Dillashaw would be TKO’ed 32 seconds into the first round. Dillashaw is considered by many to be one of, if not the greatest, bantamweight of all time. Dillashaw first won the title by defeating former bantamweight champion Renan Barao at UFC 173. Barao was looked at as the best fighter on the planet at the time of the fight so Dillashaw was given little to no chance in the fight, but Dillashaw ended up shocking the world by dominating Barao and TKO’ing him in the fifth round. Dillashaw ended up defending his title twice, once again defeating Barao, before losing his title in a very close split decision to Dominick Cruz. Dillashaw would win two in a row before facing former teammate Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217. It was very heated between the two, but ultimately Dillashaw would TKO Garbrandt to win back the title he felt should’ve never left. The two would rematch almost a year later at UFC 227 with Dillashaw winning by first round knockout. Dillashaw has over two years off from fighting and it’ll be curious to see if he can return to his previous champion form this Saturday.
This Saturday will be super exciting to see Dillashaw back, but I’m picking Sandhagen to win by decision. Watch all of the amazing fights this Saturday on ESPN+!