‘My Knee Popped and I Had to Bail Out’- T.J. Dillashaw on Facing Adversity in UFC Return

Published 07/24/2021, 10:42 PM EDT


T.J. Dillashaw was victorious in his UFC return as he bested former teammate Cory Sandhagen across five-rounds. Dillashaw’s return to action was anticipated by many fight fans as he’s been out of action since January 2019. However, he looked better than ever against Sandhagen and managed to weather the storm that ‘the Sandman’ put forth throughout the contest.

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T.J. Dillashaw’s win didn’t come without its fair share of adversity as he suffered a nasty cut early into the fight. Furthermore, his left leg was caught in a leg lock in round one that also caused his knee to pop during the fight. Dillashaw admitted the same to his corner after round one and spoke on it post-fight to Daniel Cormier.

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“My knee, I popped it in that first round. I got lazy, I knew I had a leg lock and I was just chilling on top. I got lazy, let him pop it there at the end. I couldn’t throw my hooks in. When I took him down, one time I tried to throw my hook in, my knee popped and I had to bail out.”

“So I kinda stopped and I took his back. My game plan was to throw the hooks in and that went out the window obviously, you know.”

It was evident that T.J. Dillashaw’s left knee was compromised as his movement was considerably different in round two. The extent of the damage is unknown, however, as Dillashaw admitted, it played a role in the fight. He had to put aside the possible lasting damage of the popped knee and he persevered to secure the win.

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Dillashaw made it abundantly clear that he’s looking to fight for the title in his next bout. The current champion, Aljamain Sterling commented earlier saying that the winner of Dillashaw vs Sandhagen would be up next for a title shot.

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T.J. Dillashaw is a big name in the division and the UFC will be looking to stick him in marquee match-ups once more. Not to mention, he’s looking better than ever and ring rust doesn’t seem to have plagued him.

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Darryl Pinto

1881 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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