Cory Sandhagen would happily welcome T.J. Dillashaw to the Octagon once the former bantamweight champion’s suspension is up in 2021.
Sandhagen (13-2) feels that he is just one more fight away from earning a shot at the bantamweight title. “The Sandman” rebounded after his first UFC loss to Aljamain Sterling in June by stopping Marlon Moraes with an impressive spinning wheel kick last month.
Dillashaw is serving the final two months of a two-year suspension after testing positive for EPO in 2019. The 34-year-old will be eligible to fight again on January 19, 2021.
“I definitely think my No. 1 contender fight should be against T.J. just because it makes the most sense,” Sandhagen told MMA Fighting. “I think that I have a pretty strong case now, and when T.J. comes back, he’s going to have a pretty strong case. I’d love to fight him and then right after that when the winner of Yan and Sterling are ready to go, fight one of those guys in the spring or sometime.”
Fighting as a professional for over a decade, Sandhagen said he has definitely competed against fighters on performance enhancing drugs in the past. Given this doesn’t phase him, it’s part of the reason he sees no issue welcoming Dillashaw back to the UFC.
“I’m almost positive I’ve fought some guys on steroids,” Sandhagen explained. “Doing this for like 11 years now, doing kickboxing tournaments and stuff internationally, I know for sure I’ve fought guys on steroids. But I’ve always dealt with that because I knew it was part of the sport. I didn’t let it intimidate me. I just honestly in my head, I just assumed everyone was on steroids, and if they wanted to do that, I was still going to beat them up.