UFC bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen called it a “tough sell” to give former champion TJ Dillashaw an immediate title shot at 135lbs.
Sandhagen is among the list of contenders chasing UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan’s belt. This Saturday at UFC Vegas 18, Sandhagen steps back into the Octagon when he takes on Frankie Edgar. This is a big fight for Sandhagen, who knocked out Marlon Moraes in his last outing. If Sandhagen can go in there and take care of Edgar in an impressive fashion, a title shot could be his. After all, a win over Edgar would improve Sandhagen’s UFC record to 7-1, meaning that he could face the winner of Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 in March.
The problem is, Dillashaw is returning to the Octagon very soon, and that could prove to be a stumbling block for Sandhagen. Despite having missed over two years of action due to a USADA suspension, Yan recently mentioned that he is interested in fighting Dillashaw. And while Sandhagen understands the allure of a big-money fight, he doesn’t think it’s right. Speaking to the media ahead of UFC Vegas 18, Sandhagen explained why it’s a “tough sell” to give Dillashaw the next crack at 135lbs gold, and made the case for why he should be next in line instead.
“I don’t know (Yan’s) thinking behind that. I can kind of see it. I see the argument that if he beats Sterling, Sterling beat me sometime last year, then maybe. That’s kind of hard, that’s a tough sell for me a little bit. But you know what? I think it’s a tougher sell bringing TJ back after two years of being suspended off of some of the most serious PEDs that you can use in the sport,” Sandhagen said.
“That’s a really tough sell for me too. I think the only reason he wants TJ is because TJ hasn’t fought in two years, he’s not going to be on steroids anymore, and he’s getting a little bit older. I don’t think he wants to fight a tough guy that doesn’t have that same fandom as he does and I think that’s me, and I think that I’m the tougher fight. But I think TJ is quote-unquote ‘the bigger fight’ and that’s how the game works a little bit. I can kind of see why he’s doing it. But I’m the tougher fight.”
Do you think Cory Sandhagen should get the next title shot with a win over Frankie Edgar, or should TJ Dillashaw get it?
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