Sandhagen is set to welcome Dillashaw back to the UFC in the main event of UFC Vegas 32 this weekend. The former UFC Bantamweight Champion was handed a two-year suspension following his loss to Henry Cejudo in 2019 after testing positive for EPO, something he’s said offered no help to his performance.
Despite Dillashaw’s confidence in his chances at finishing Sandhagen, his former training partner is ready for a five-round war.
With a 25-minute fight a possibility on Saturday, Sandhagen recently discussed whether a five-round fight will play to his strengths. While speaking with the New York Post, the 29-year-old suggested he’s normally better prepared to go the distance than his opponents and expects his conditioning to hold up well at UFC Vegas 32.
“I like my advantages in five rounds more than, I think, most of my opponents,” Sandhagen explained. “… I think that T.J. will wear, and I think that I have really good conditioning. And I think that I’ve done a lot of learning how to fight [when] very, very tired in the last few camps, and that’s given me a lot of confidence to throw things a little bit harder to be able to knock people out. And I think, with T.J., it’s gonna serve me better to have a five-rounder.”
But despite Dillashaw maintaining that he only used EPO to aid a grueling weight cut down to 125 pounds, Sandhagen clearly believes he’s been more reliant on it in the past than he lets on. “The Sandman” said that, although the 35-year-old has proven he can manage a tired body well, he sees his five-round advantage being evident against a clean Dillashaw.
“I know he gets tired,” Sandhagen said. “He does good operating inside of a tired body, which I’ll give him credit for. But I think, especially him being a little older [and] him not being on drugs anymore is definitely going to cause some changing of the way that he will be able to perform in a five-rounder.”
Despite the cancelation of Aspen Ladd‘s return in the co-main event against Macy Chiasson, this weekend’s event is still stacked with a host of exciting names and upcoming talents.
Before we get to Sandhagen and Dillashaw’s blockbuster bantamweight main event, fan favorite Adrian Yanez returns to the Octagon to face Randy Costa, rising 135-pound threat Kyler Phillips welcomes Raulian Paiva back to bantamweight, and future flyweight stars Miranda Maverick and Maycee Barber look to establish themselves as the top prospect in the division.
Do you think Cory Sandhagen can spoil the return of T.J. Dillashaw?