Cory Sandhagen has weighed in on T.J. Dillashaw's upcoming return to the Octagon. Despite Dillashaw being inactive from competition for about two years, Sandhagen believes that he cannot afford to make the mistake of thinking that the former will be a lesser fighter upon his return.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Cory Sandhagen said that he is quite aware of the fact that Dillashaw has had a couple of shoulder surgeries in the past two-and-a-half years. Whereas, in the meantime, Sandhagen was working really hard to improve himself.
Sandhagen added that the narrative going into his fight against Dillashaw is that the latter won't be coming in as his best version. But that's something The Sandman will not be buying into. Here's what Sandhagen said:
“The guy’s been out for two-and-a-half years almost now, so who knows what he’s been doing in that time? I know that he had a couple of shoulder surgeries, which put him out for a little bit, and I know that I’ve been working really hard in those two years. I don’t really know what he’s been doing, but yeah, I suppose that’s probably the narrative that T.J. is probably gonna come back as a not-as-great version of T.J., but that’s just a narrative that I’m not gonna buy into. I’m gonna buy into the narrative which is gonna keep me safer, which is T.J. is gonna come back a better T.J."
Sandhagen knows that Dillashaw probably won't be returning as the same fighter if he's off EPO. However, The Sandman isn't banking on the former UFC bantamweight champion's performance levels dropping off and won't be letting his guard down. Sandhagen explained:
"If he was on EPO or whatever type of drugs he was on for his entire career and he’s off of them, then that’s 100 percent gonna play a factor. Am I banking on that? Absolutely not. But if that is the case, which I have no idea if that’s the case or not, then, yeah, he’s probably not gonna be coming back the same guy.”
T.J. Dillashaw will return to the UFC on May 8th against Cory Sandhagen
On May 8th, Cory Sandhagen will aim to extend his current winning streak to three fights when he faces off against former champion T.J. Dillashaw to the Octagon.
The Sandman will face Dillashaw in a five-round main event bout. On the back of a huge KO win over Frankie Edgar, Cory Sandhagen will aim to confirm his title shot by getting past Dillashaw.