TJ Dillashaw beats Cory Sandhagen – .

TJ Dillashaw beats Cory Sandhagen – .

TJ Dillashaw returned to UFC in style on ESPN 27 after 30 months away from the cage.
Former UFC bantamweight champion Dillashaw (16-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) defeated Cory Sandhagen (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47 ).

The bantamweight bout was the main event for UFC on ESPN 27 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on ESPN and aired on ESPN +.

Dillashaw, 35, competed for the first time since his hiatus due to a suspension from the US Anti-Doping Agency that resulted from a positive drug test for EPO surrounding his previous fight – a loss by TKO against Henry Cejudo at UFC on ESPN 1 in January 2019.

On the opening round, ring rust did not appear to be a contributing factor as Dillashaw switched positions in vintage form. A flying knee attempt tipped Sandhagen over to Dillashaw. As he slid onto his back, Sandhagen nearly locked himself in an inverted triangle – but Dillashaw escaped.

The first round was hotly contested. In the second round, however, Sandhagen started to take over. He opened Dillashaw with a hard flying knee, a counter-shot he often landed throughout the fight.

Although the doctor checked the throbbing cut, Dillashaw was allowed to continue. For the remainder of Round 2, Sandhagen seemed to have a head start – momentum he maintained into the opening minutes of Round 3.

The third round saw Dillashaw land a series of leg kicks, which took their toll on Sandhagen. Against the fence, Dillashaw used his melee work until time ran out.

In the championship rounds, both fighters have had their moments. Dillashaw apparently found a second win, while Sandhagen kept his pace high. When the judges’ scoreboards were read, Dillashaw got two of three nods.

After the fight, Dillashaw called for shooting UFC bantamweight champion winner Aljamain Sterling against Petr Yan – or a top-five opponent.

The victory brings him back to the winning column and continues his streak of never losing consecutive fights as a professional. With the victory, Dillashaw has won five of his last six outings, including losses to Cody Garbrandt, John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao.

As for Sandhagen, the loss ends a two-game winning streak as he falls to 2-2 in his last four fights. UFC on ESPN 27 marked the second time Sandhagen lost by decision.

The latest UFC results on ESPN 27 include:

  • TJ Dillashaw beat. Cory Sandhagen via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
  • Raulian Paiva def. Kyler Phillips via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
  • Darren Elkins beat. Darrick Minner via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:48
  • Maycee Barber defeated Miranda Maverick by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Adrian Yanez beat. Randy Costa via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:11
  • Brendan Allen a bat. Puna Soriano by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Nassourdine Imavov asked. Ian Heinisch via TKO (coups de poing) – Round 2, 3:09
  • Mickey Gall def. Jordan Williams via Submission (Naked Rear Choke) – Round 1, 2:57
  • Julio Arce defeated Andre Ewell via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:45
  • Sijara Eubanks beat. Elise Reed via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:49
  • Diana Belbita beat. Hannah Goldy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)


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