TJ Dillashaw returns to edge Cory Sandhagen in 5-round war, UFC Vegas 32

T.J. Dillashaw bleeds from his eye during his UFC Vegas 32 fight with Cory Sandhagen. Dillashaw won the fight by unanimous decision. Photo by Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC

Matchmaker Monday following UFC Vegas 32

UFC Vegas 32 featured a pivotal fight in the bantamweight division with former champion T.J. Dillashaw and top contender Cory Sandhagen putting on a show in the main event.

Dillashaw took the opening round, but in the second round Sandhagen hurt Dillashaw with a few long, stingy, straight punches that cut up the former champ. From there, the two fought in three very close rounds and when it was all said and done, Dillashaw walked away with a narrow split decision win.

TJ Dillashaw returns to edge Cory Sandhagen in 5-round war
T.J. Dillashaw bleeds from his eye during his UFC Vegas 32 fight with Cory Sandhagen. Dillashaw won the fight by unanimous decision. Photo by Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC

Now that the hard fought fight is over, let’s fight out what’s next for these top bantamweight’s on this Matchmaker Monday.

T.J. Dillashaw
Result: defeated Cory Sandhagen by split decision at UFC Vegas 32
Next: winner of Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan

The win wasn’t pretty, but still Dillashaw got the victory. It marked his first win since 2018 as Dillashaw had been sidelined due to a suspension for EPO.

While the win might not sit pretty with some of the fans, the fact that Dillashaw came off a two-year lay off to defeat one of the best bantamweights in the world says something. He is absolutely deserving of a title fight and that’s what’s next for him.

Sterling and Yan will settle their beef likely in the fall and once that’s squared away the bantamweight champion will make a defense against Dillashaw. Remember that Dillashaw never lost his title. He was stripped of it when he suffered the suspension.

Cory Sandhagen
Result: lost to T.J. Dillashaw by split decision at UFC Vegas 32
Next: loser of Sterling and Yan

While Dillashaw is celebrating with the thrill of victory, Sandhagen is suffering the agony of defeat.

Sandhagen has to be heartbroken as he fought great on Saturday and now instead of finally getting a deserving shot at UFC gold, he is going to have to fight someone else to get a shot.

One good thing for Sandhagen is that he’s not going to have that long of a road to get one as long as he wins his next fight. That fight will likely come against the loser of Sterling and Yan. Also note that if it ends up being Sterling, the two fought in 2020 and Sterling beat Sandhagen.

A wildcard matchup here that also makes a lot of sense is Rob Font, who has been on a roll as of late and sits at No. 3 in the bantamweight rankings. He is also right in the mix and another big win can get him a title fight as well. Font can also draw the loser of Sterling and Yan as well.

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