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“Daddy’s Back” – T.J. Dillashaw



The fight between Cory Sandhagen and T.J. Dillashaw has to go down as one of the best five-round non-title bouts. At the end of 5 rounds, T.J won the fight via split decision as two out of the three scorecards read 48-47 in favor of the former Bantamweight champion.

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In his return to the octagon, Dillashaw came out firing with his quick movement and strikes while grappling his opponent which didn’t give Sandhagen much space to land his strikes. Somehow the Sandman found a way out of T.J. ‘s strategy and started to land leg kicks which popped his knee but the two-time champ didn’t give up and continued to fight for the next four rounds.


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Sandhagen continued to be in charge of the bout as he started using his reach advantage to connect some punches. One of these punches opened up a wound above Dillashaw’s right eye causing him more problems. But just like his injured knee, the American battled through and continued to close the gap between him and his opponent. Dillashaw did well to use his grappling and clinch techniques to slow down the fight and cancel out Sandhagen’s reach advantage and put it at a range where his shorter reach was at an advantage.

This was the case for the next three rounds with both men having their moments only to see the momentum swing back. At the end of five rounds, the judges scored 48-47, 47-48, and 48-47 on all three cards declaring T.J. Dillashaw as the winner via split decision.

What’s next for T.J. Dillashaw?


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T.J. Dillashaw who missed nearly two years of action due to a failed drug test has his eyes on getting back his bantamweight crown. This fight somehow served as an unofficial #1 contender fight for the winner of UFC 267 – A title fight between current champion Aljamain Sterling and former champion Petr Yan. In the post-fight octagon interview with Daniel Cormier, the two-time bantamweight champion said, “I love Cory Sandhagen. I believed in that guy before he even believed in himself. Great opponent, great fight. A little sloppy on my part but I pushed the pace and got the win and guess what, Daddy’s home b*tches”. Daddy’s getting that belt, easy. It’s easy money for that belt right now as long as Yan and Sterling get their fight on pretty quick otherwise I want someone else in the top 5.”


[Image Credit: MMA Zone]