Aljamain Sterling Claims TJ Dillashaw Being ‘Clean’ Might Affect His Performance Against Cory Sandhagen

Published 04/03/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 04: TJ Dillashaw reacts during his UFC bantamweight championship bout against Cody Garbrandt during the UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)


Former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will make his return to the octagon almost 841 days since his last fight. The USADA famously handed Dillashaw a two-year ban for the consumption of banned substances in his fight against Henry Cejudo. In the time that Dillashaw has been away from the sport, the bantamweight division has blossomed into one of the most talent stacked divisions in the UFC. 

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In his return fight after more than two years off, the former champion will take on an extremely dangerous finisher in Cory Sandhagen. ‘Sandman’ is on a two-fight KO win streak. Hence, it will be interesting to see how much of an effect a two-year lay-off will be for TJ when he steps in against an elite fighter in the ‘Sandman’.

Read: ‘There is a big chance he would break my jaw’- Jon Jones on why he needs a big pay against Francis Ngannou

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Aljamain Sterling gives his thoughts on TJ Dillashaw vs Cory Sandhagen

In a recent interview, James Lynch asked Aljamain Sterling what he made of Dillashaw’s return and what his predictions were for the fight. 

He said, “I think he is going to look good from a technical standpoint, cause he’s a very technical guy. The way he throws his combinations, he almost fights like it is a video game. He throws combinations like he is pressing buttons on a controller…… I just think with all the rumblings from the past.”

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Funkmaster’ continued, “And the press conference where Cody Garbrandt confirmed that he was trying to teach everyone at the gym how to do the steroids and the EPO…. It goes to show how many years he has been cheating….. I don’t know how good he really is without that stuff. Like yeah, he may be a technical guy. But in terms of the aggression and everything, that can all be coming from the stuff he’s injecting into his body.”

MMA fans have always known Dillashaw as an excellent striker, but two years away from the sport will have surely affected his timing and precision, which is he so famously known for. That said, age might also play a factor as the former champion is 35. 

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 04: TJ Dillashaw celebrates his UFC Bantamweight Title Bout win over Cody Garbrandt during UFC 227 at Staples Center on August 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

It will be interesting to see how TJ Dillashaw performs on his return. If he is able to secure a win, he will put himself in a position to challenge for a title immediately. However, a loss could be detrimental to his UFC career. 

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Kevin Binoy

836 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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