TJ Dillashaw is finally ready to return to the UFC following a lengthy U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) suspension. Dillashaw is heading into the main event spot this upcoming weekend when he takes on number two ranked Cory Sandhagen. Dillashaw was champion of the UFC bantamweight division from 2014-2016. He was caught by the USADA following a fight with Henry Cejudo at flyweight, which Dillashaw says contributed to the usage of a banned substance. The thing about Dillashaw is that came out and admitted the usable and has taken full responsibility for his mistake.
Now on the way back to the Octagon, Dillashaw is ready to move on from this transgression. He spoke to Brendan Schaub on his show called “Food Truck Diaries” about why he asked for Sandhagen.
“If I thought I got somewhere because of PEDs, I wouldn’t be calling out Cory Sandhagen,” Dillashaw said. “I wouldn’t be asking for someone in the top five. I wouldn’t let it be known that I’m getting my belt back. I’m going to be a f–king animal when I get back in the cage. “They tried to offer me fights that weren’t top five, and I said no. I want someone top five. Dude, I’m coming back. I’m 35 years old. I want my belt back. I never lost it. I’m here to prove a point that I’m the best in the world.”
Dillashaw is still a name in the division and with a win over Sandhagen, he could very well find himself in the position to fight for a title again soon. However, he does have a very tough task ahead of him with Sandhagen. Sandhagen has won seven of his eight fights in the UFC, losing only to champion Aljamain Sterling. His last two wins were by way of knockouts over some of the best 135 pounders in the world. Dillashaw thinks he has the remedy for Sandhagen’s power.
“Wrestling is a big factor in this,” Dillashaw said. “Not only the fact that I can outwrestle him but that I can take the fight wherever. He’s got to respect that. You don’t respect it, he’s going to end up on his back. He starts disrespecting my wrestling, I’m going to put him on his back from knocking him out, as well.”
UFC on ESPN 27 takes place on Saturday, July 24 live from Las Vegas. The event is headlined by the bantamweight bout featuring Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw. The co-main event will be a women’s bantamweight bout, Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson.