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Cory Sandhagen open to title eliminator with T.J. Dillashaw

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“I think I should be the next one fighting for the title, but if we need to eliminate another option, which is T.J., then I’ll fight T.J., and then I’ll fight for the title, too.”

How does Cory Sandhagen plan to stop T.J. Dillashaw leapfrogging him in the bantamweight rankings and being gifted a title shot in his return to the UFC?

‘The Sandman’ thinks a title eliminator might do the trick.

Sandhagen would ideally like to fight Petr Yan for the bantamweight strap following his spectacular, highlight reel knockout of Frankie Edgar at UFC Vegas 18, but the 28-year-old is open to the idea of a number one contender’s bout with Dillashaw.

“Of course there’s concern,” Sandhagen told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin on Wednesday. “Cause the UFC, it’s a business and they operate like a business. T.J. is a much bigger name than I am. He’ll probably get more sales for stuff maybe than I will, and that’s concerning for me.

“That being said, I don’t want them to just feed T.J. some really lackluster fight just so that they can say he’s coming off a win. If it comes down to it, I think I should be the next one fighting for the title, but if we need to eliminate another option, which is T.J., then I’ll fight T.J., and then I’ll fight for the title, too.”

Dillashaw will return to the UFC following a two-year drug suspension and, although Sandhagen doesn’t think T.J. should even be in the title conversation after testing positive for EPO, he is kind of excited at the prospect of adding a former two-time bantamweight champion to his resume.

“I think that I earned it but if I fight TJ, absolutely will do that,” Sandhagen said. “I think that will probably come with a new contract, too, which would be nice and yeah, more than willing to do that.

“But like you said and like I’m saying, [Dillashaw] shouldn’t even really be in the conversation, and I’m definitely next.”

Sandhagen is 9-1 in his last ten fights with two recent highlight reel stoppage wins over Frankie Edgar and Marlon Moraes. The Colorado native is #2 in the UFC bantamweight division.