UFC Fight Night: Cory Sandhagen v T.J. Dillashaw Prediction, Tips & Odds

Cory Sandhagen UFC

Cory Sandhagen v T.J. Dillashaw Prediction

skybet betting tip

CORY SANDHAGEN BY TKO/KO STOPPAGE @ 6/4

How does Sandhagen beat the ex-champ?

Cory Sandhagen will be the first man to welcome former world champion, T.J. Dillashaw, back to the cage this weekend after the 35-year-old was suspended for two years following a positive drug test for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO). The two-time bantamweight world champion will now have one of the toughest tests in the division in fighting the number two ranked fighter, Sandhagen.

'The Sandman', now 29, is one of the few fighters in the rosters who is perhaps quite unlucky not to have had an official shot at the title yet. The American has lost just the one fight in the UFC from eight bouts, making him arguably the bantamweight division's most threatening asset.

Despite the talk of him being a future champion, this one loss for Sandhagen did come against the current champion, Aljamain Sterling, as the submission specialist got the win through a rear-naked choke in round one back in June of last year.

However, quite literally, Sandhagen has come back a different man and a vastly superior fighter to the one that lost that day. Four months after his defeat to Sterling, the 29-year-old delivered one of the sweetest spinning wheel kicks to Marlon Moraes, before following up with a flurry of punches to get the TKO win inside round two.

Sandhagen would keep his highlight reel ticking as he knocked out cold the legendary Frankie Edgar with one of the greatest flying knees you will see, making it, to this day, one of the knockouts of the year in just February. The American combined exceptional fighting IQ with his excellent athletic ability for both knockouts, and it rightfully so earned him back-to-back Performance of the Night awards.

Now, with a 14-2 record and two phenomenal consecutive finishes, Sandhagen has become a truly all-rounded current pound for pound top name and if he is to win, you feel he may need the TKO/KO victory to get there. In fact, six of his 14 victories have come through this fashion, whilst Dillashaw has lost two of his four in this manner too.

It is a gargantuan fight in the bantamweight division and this could well be the time Sandhagen establishes himself as the man in the division, and there can be no two ways about it: the American is one of the best strikers around right now.

Cory Sandhagen v T.J. Dillashaw Odds

skybet betting tip

T.J. DILLASHAW TO WIN ON DECISION @ 13/2

How does Dillashaw return to winning ways?

Dillashaw has not fought for two years now after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs both pre and post-fight when he battled with Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title. This was the American's first-ever fight at flyweight, and to make matters worse for him when he tested positive, Dillashaw also had to swallow the bitter pill that he was truly obliterated by the champion, Cejudo.

Ever since, the 35-year-old has been in the gym and grinding away and waiting for the UFC to allow him to return, and a month after the bout was rescheduled due to a cut above Dillashaw's eye with Sandhagen, he now has a chance to get himself into title contention once more and improve on his 16-4 record.

Because of the suspension, however, the former Team Alpha Male fighter has not registered a win since beating his ex-teammate, Cody Garbrant, back in 2018. Dillashaw TKO'd his nemesis twice in back-to-back fights and should he manage to beat Sandhagen, if Sterling v Petr Yan 2 is to take place as expected, we may even see these two fight for a third time.

First and foremost, though, how does Dillashaw beat one of the division's most threatening talents in Sandhagen? We don't believe he'll get the job done early as he did in the two fights with Garbrandt, as Sandhagen is too athletically talented and technically gifted to get mixed in with the threat Dillashaw holds.

With this said, the ex-champion will likely need to use all his experience and technical talents to make the rounds pass a little and ultimately echo why many believe him to be one of the pound for pound greatest. Dillashaw is a NCAA Division I wrestler and a purple in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which compared to Sandhagen's brown belt and more inexperience on the mat in wrestling, this should be where the more experienced head of Dillashaw reigns supreme.

This isn't to dispute the former champion's pedigree in striking, however. Sandhagen has a sensational kickboxing background and it is clear to see in his recent finishes over Moraes and Edgar. However, Dillashaw has a black belt in Bang Muay Thai, which is a system that works within Muay Thai under the legendary Duane Ludwig, and this becomes clear when the American is in the cage, with that famous right head kick that knocked down Garbrandt. which gets used regularly throughout his fights.

We think if Dillashaw is to get the win, however, the 13/2 price to win on points makes sense, but the two-time world champion is 10/3 to win via TKO/KO.

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