ESPN broke the big bantamweight news late Thursday night about Dillashaw’s return after a two-year USADA suspension for EPO. Cory Sandhagen argued that Dillashaw should have to earn a world title shot instead of jumping right to the top of the contender’s list, and the UFC brass has heeded his advice.
Cory Sandhagen is currently pipe hot right now, with back-to-back Performance of the Night finishes over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar. Should Dillashaw make his return with a win over the #2-ranked Sandhagen, he can resume waiting patiently for a title shot that would have been well earned.
Also revealed in the ESPN report is that #3 and #4 in the division will collide when Cody Garbrandt (#3) takes on Rob Font (#4) on May 22. A former champion in the division, Cody Garbrandt will also re-enter the conversation of potential 2021 title defenders if he earns a second consecutive win over a highly ranked opponent. In his most recent bout, Garbrandt defeated Raphael Assuncao via a highlight-reel KO.
As for Rob Font, he won’t be getting the T.J. Dillashaw fight he requested, but he will have a chance at winning his fourth consecutive fight and a second straight win over a top-5 opponent. Font most recently stopped Marlon Moraes in the first round at UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal last September.
With this update, the current lineup for the May 8 Fight Night card is as follows:
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cory Sandhagen
Donald Cerrone vs. Diego Sanchez
Philipe Lins vs. Ben Rothwell
Ryan Benoit vs. Zarrukh Adashev
Damir Hadzovic vs. Nikolas Motta
Maurice Greene vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Christian Aguilera vs. Carlston Harris
Francisco Figueredo vs. Jimmy Flick
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Taila Santos
Tafon Nchukwi vs. Jun Yong Park
The updated lineup for the May 22 card now includes these bouts:
Cody Garbrandt vs. Rob Font
Carla Esparza vs. Yan Xiaonan
David Dvorak vs. Raulian Paiva
Felicia Spencer vs. Danyelle Wolf
Denys Bondar vs. Victor Rodriguez
Justin Tafa vs. Jared Vanderaa
What are your predictions for these massive bantamweight bouts??