We’ve waited to see TJ Dillashaw in the octagon for a long time. His bout with Cory Sandhagen was postponed from May 8 for this date, so it is no wonder why UFC fans can’t wait to see these two finally share the octagon. Sandhagen is on his way up towards the title-bout, and it is no wonder why the organization ranked him as No.2 bantamweight. On the other side, the former champion has the same goal, but unlike with Sandhagen, we can’t say anything about his current shape. Two years away from the octagon are a lot, which is why many questions surround Dillashaw.
Sandhagen (-155) is a bombastic fighter who knows how to deliver a proper show, wins and makes all of his exciting skills useful. Two of the top five KOs last year were his, the spinning wheel kick KO against Marlon Moraes, and the flying knee that demolished Frankie Edgar.
Previously, Sandhagen lost to Aljamain Sterling which was a big setback on his way towards the title, but a valuable lesson would make him even more effective and dangerous. All of the UFC experts are saying that after that defeat, Sandhagen changed his mindset, and as a result of that, two very big wins came one after another.
This guy is a very good hitter, and his stand-up is extremely efficient. You can’t see too many fighters in the UFC who use equally well legs and hands as the Sandman, who often fires highlight reel strikes in the most efficient way possible.
Dillashaw (+135) comes in following a doping ban that set him apart from the octagon for the previous two years. He was tested for EPO before and after the fight with Henry Cejudo, which TJ lost via TKO in the first round. It was a flyweight title match, and Dillashaw lost it because of one small mistake, allowing Cejudo to go on and become one of the best ever UFC fighters as he later won the bantamweight belt as well.
The 35-year old is an excellent wrestler, maybe even the best in the division. That is he was, until the pause. We didn’t see him ever since. The American’s biggest advantage was extremely quick movement around the octagon, as there were no fighters in the division capable of dealing with his speed.
Dillashaw is a veteran who has a rich CV. He would defeat Cody Garbrandt twice in the title matches, holds two wins over Renan Barao and one over Raphael Assuncao as well.
This should be a high-intensity clash, as both Sandhagen and Dillashaw don’t know to fight differently than that. Even though we lean towards Sandhagen’s victory, to be honest, there is a dose of risk in it, which is why our pick for this match is fight not going to the distance. These guys aren’t used to going all the way, and a vast majority of their respective contests saw its ending before the final horn.
Pick: Fight not going to the distance
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.