When extremely ranked bantamweight competitor Cory Sandhagen takes on with two-time previous champ TJ Dillashaw on Saturday at UFC Battle Night in Las Vegas, the five-round centerpiece will not be the very first time the 2 135- pound fighters have actually squared off.

Dillashaw (16 -4), who returns for the very first time given that 2019 following a two-year USADA suspension that saw him removed of his title, formerly utilized Sandhagen (14 -2) as a sparring partner ahead of his 2016 title loss to Dominick Cruz by split choice.

The situations for the 2 fighters then compared to now could not be any longer contrasting. Dillashaw was fresh off a demolition of previous champ Renan Barao in their rematch that acted as the 2nd defense of Dillashaw’s preliminary bantamweight title reign. Sandhagen, then simply 23, was a simple handful of months gotten rid of from his professional launching on the local scene in North Dakota.

The outcomes of sparring have actually produced hugely various recollections from viewers who existed inside the Colorado fitness center where Dillashaw was training. Even the fighters themselves appear to bear in mind what occurred extremely in a different way.

” I have a truly dreadful memory so, to be sincere. It has actually been a long period of time,” Sandhagen stated throughout Wednesday’s media scrum. “I do not truly keep in mind anything. When we were training together, we got along training partners. That was our relationship. If [the sparring] occurred 6 months earlier, it would feel various mentally however I do not have a psychological connection to TJ. It will seem like simply another battle.

” I do not believe I have actually spoken to him because we combated on the exact same card[in 2019] It does not feel that odd. I do not believe it will be that tough to strike him in the face.”

Dillashaw, 35, was a visitor Thursday on “Early Morning Kombat” and stated he believes the outcomes of the sparring will benefit him a lot more when they touch gloves genuine this weekend some 6 years later on.

” He’s high, he’s slender, he has great kickboxing and excellent footwork. United States being training partners is more advantageous to me than it is him, I will state that,” Dillashaw stated. “And I’m going to head out there and complete him.”

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However just how much does Dillashaw, who hasn’t contended in 30 months, think Sandhagen has enhanced given that they as soon as trained together, particularly considering he is fresh off blockage wins over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar?

” I’m sure he is? I make sure he is,” Dillashaw stated. “However from what I have actually seen, he is who he is. He does the exact same things. I understood he was that great prior to he was even that excellent. He has the very same characteristics.”

Asked just how much he anticipates Dillashaw’s video game to have actually lessened as an outcome of his layoff, Sandhagen wasn’t sure.

” We will all discover at the very same time,” Sandhagen stated. “Who understands how he is? It would be truly absurd of me strolling into a battle and believing TJ hasn’t made enhancements and hasn’t included tools to his tool belt. You anticipate hell in there every time.”

Despite just how much their history may play a part in the outcome of this de facto No. 1 competitor’s bout at 135 pounds, both fighters are anticipating to complete next for the UFC title need to they win after Aljamain Sterling finishes his rematch with previous champ Petr Yan.

” Remaining in there with the very best men is the manner in which I’m going to end up being the individual that I wish to be. TJ is no joke and I’m preparing for a difficult battle and I’m all set for that,” Sandhagen stated. “This is the battle that I desired. I understand constructing a name is what is necessary in this sport. This is almost getting anybody else’s argument. That’s what I’m going to do up until I get my title shot.”

This card was likewise anticipated to mark the return of another fighter from a long layoff, however it wasn’t indicated to be. Aspen Ladd was set to make her very first Octagon look because December 2019 following knee surgical treatment versus Macy Chiasson, however the battle was aborted throughout the week due to the fact that of an injury suffered by Chiasson. It’s uncertain simply when Ladd will make her next look.

Here’s the battle card for UFC Battle Night with the most recent chances from William Hill Sportsbook.

Battle card, chances

  • Cory Sandhagen -200 vs. TJ Dillashaw 170, bantamweights
  • Kyler Phillips -280 vs. Raulian Paiva 230, bantamweights
  • Darrick Minner -150 vs. Darren Elkins 125, featherweights
  • Miranda Radical -150 vs. Maycee Barber 125, ladies’s flyweights
  • Adrian Yanez -230 vs. Randy Costa 190, bantamweights

UFC Battle Night seeing info

Date: July 24 | Start time: 7 p.m. ET
Place: UFC Peak– Las Vegas
TELEVISION Channel: ESPN| Stream: fuboTV (shot for totally free)


The close wagering chances show simply just how much capacity this battle needs to end up being an outright thriller.

On paper, Sandhagen’s length blends well with his unconventional striking patterns and strong submission grappling to represent an especially terrible design match for Dillashaw, no matter the layoff. At the very same time, it may be appealing to forget simply how dominant Dillashaw was over a six-year run in which he went 12 -2 with 2 disputed beats through split choice and remained in factor to consider for the title of finest 135- pound fighter in the sport’s history.

Dillashaw has the mix of speed and power to offset his physical drawbacks and a leading video game efficient in taking control of battles with his fumbling. While extremely couple of 35- year-old fighters generally stay amongst elite fighters in a department like bantamweight that is so dependent upon speed, Dillashaw has actually likewise remained devoid of damage the previous 2 years while going through surgical treatment on both shoulders.

Anticipate some high-speed chess to be played amongst technically terrific fighters who both depend on imagination offensively to continuously keep their challenger’s thinking. This battle needs to likewise have a terrific chance at going the complete range as Dillashaw has actually traditionally been resilient with an outstanding gas tank.

Choose: Dillashaw through UD

Who wins Cory Sandhagen vs. T.J. Dillashaw? And how precisely does each battle end? Go to SportsLine now to get in-depth tease every battle at UFC Battle Night, all from the specialist who’s up more than $15,000 on Mixed Martial Arts in the past 28 months, and learn.


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