Cory Sandhagen Releases a Statement Following His Split Decision Loss Against TJ Dillashaw at UFC Vegas 32

Published 07/25/2021, 11:51 AM EDT


Considered as one of the most exciting bantamweight matchups of the year, TJ Dillashaw vs Cory Sandhagen lived up to all the hype ending with a controversial split decision victory in favor of the former two-time champ, TJ Dillashaw. 

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Although the fight was incredibly close, with many fans and critics scoring the fight in favor of Sandhagen, the 29-year-old put on an exemplary display of sportsmanship, giving props to his opponent and former teammate in an Instagram post shared a few hours after the event. 

Going into the fight, TJ Dillashaw stated Sandhagen would probably be one of the toughest matchups for him in the division and a quick look at Dillashaw’s face post-fight is confirmation of the same. Saying that this title elimination bout was a tough one to score would be an understatement, considering the back-and-forth nature of the fight.

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A fight for the ages: Cory Sandhagen vs TJ Dillashaw 

Round one saw both fighters using feints and lateral movement in an attempt to make essential reads and gauging the distance. Dillashaw’s explosive movements allowed him to get off a couple of hard kicks and punch combos, repeatedly backing up the taller Sandhagen against the fence. However, with just a minute left in the first and Dillashaw in the top position, Sandhagen sneaked in a leg lock, ultimately sending his opponent back to his corner with a compromised knee.     

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In the second round, Sandhagen began using his reach and size to his advantage, keeping Dillashaw on the outside and picking his shots accurately. Soon enough, the ‘Sandman’ was able to find the right openings to deliver two vicious left hands that sat TJ down. A wobbly TJ then made an attempt to go in for the takedown to no avail, consequently getting hit with a brutal counter right hand from Sandhagen which opened up a gaping cut above his right eye.   

Despite recieving a cut above his right eye, Dillashaw kept to the center of the octagon, blasting Cory with his speedy leg kicks along with multiple takedown attempts which allowed the veteran to land plenty of meaningful blows from the clinch.  

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With the fight entering the Championship rounds, Dillashaw came out strong and successfully increased the pace of the fight, constantly pressuring his opponent, who seemed content landing his shots while backing up.   

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 11: (R-L) Cory Sandhagen punches Marlon Moraes of Brazil in their bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on October 11, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In the end, Dillashaw’s constant pressure and multiple takedown attempts, especially in the championship rounds, allowed the former two-time champ to eke out a split decision victory over a young and incredibly motivated Cory Sandhagen.

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And while this might seem like a setback for Sandhagen, the number 2 ranked Bantamweight. One can certainly expect to see a far more improved version of him the next time he steps into the Octagon.  

Watch This Story: Event Recap: Best Fights From UFC Vegas 32: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw

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David Andrew

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