After serving a two-year suspension, Dillashaw returned to the Octagon in the UFC Vegas 32 main event against “The Sandman,” who entered the fight as the #2-ranked bantamweight. After an enthralling and evenly-contested five rounds, the former 135-pound champion came out on the right side of a split decision.
Despite many disagreeing with the judges’ decision, and suggesting the damage that Sandhagen inflicted on Dillashaw should have been enough to give him the nod on the scorecards, Cejudo believes his former opponent deserved to be awarded the win.
Speaking in a video the former two-division champion uploaded to Twitter, “Triple C” revealed how impressed he was with Dillashaw’s return performance.
“I’m actually very surprised at T.J. I wasn’t betting on him, I really wasn’t, because I’ve always thought that Sandhagen just did a better job of what T.J. tends to do. But what we want to credit in this fight is the wrestling, the mindset, and the hunger.” (h/t BJPenn.com)
Cejudo went on to analyze the fight and suggested that Dillashaw’s control time was enough to warrant his win over Sandhagen, who he had originally predicted would win the UFC Vegas 32 main event.
“The reason why T.J. won the fight — and I do believe he won the fight — even though he got beat up he controlled more of the time, and I don’t think we give credit to that. The majority of the time he was in a better position, had him against the cage, took him down, didn’t inflict that much damage, but he did enough to steal the rounds towards the end. You gotta give credit where credit’s due. I didn’t have him winning, I didn’t want him to win, but I guess apparently he had what it takes to beat Cory Sandhagen,” said Cejudo.
After Dillashaw’s successful return last weekend, he’s now expected to be next in line for a shot at the bantamweight belt after Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan 2, which is set for UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi later this year.
After it was vacated by Cejudo, Yan won the title by defeating former 145-pound champ Jose Aldo at UFC 251 last year. But “No Mercy” failed to record a defense after an illegal knee to the head of Sterling saw the title change hands. The fierce rivals will now rematch before the victor turns their attention to Dillashaw.
Do you agree with Henry Cejudo’s take on T.J. Dillashaw’s victory over Cory Sandhagen in the main event of UFC Vegas 32?