After serving a long suspension for using EPO former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw is set to make his return to the Octagon in July. Meeting him there is surging title contender Cory Sandhagen.
In the lead up to this one, which will surely produce the next title challenger in the division, Dillashaw has been hit with an accusation of spying. Sandhagen’s teammate Justin Wetzell, a featherweight with LFA, made that charge when speaking to James Lynch recently.
“Yeah, he had some Ludwig students come into our Friday sparring,” accused Wetzell (ht Adam Martin/bjpenn.com). “I wasn’t there that day, but I heard about this from other people. They were like, ‘Yeah, there’s these Ludwig affiliates and when Cory started sparring in the cage, they whipped out their phones and started recording.’ And then later on Instagram, they posted some sh*t on their story bragging, ‘Hey TJ, we got these rounds for you, we’ve got it all recorded.’”
Wetzell said he was surprised by the alleged incident. Although he doesn’t think it will mean much as far as Dillashaw and Sandhagen’s upcoming contest. “It is what it is. I don’t think it’s really going to help.”
This isn’t the first spying claim we’ve heard in MMA. Back in 2011 Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson was adamant that Jon Jones had sent spies to his camp ahead of UFC 135. Rampage claimed he tested his theory by complaining about a hand injury at the gym. He further claimed that the theory was proved correct when matchmaker Joe Silva called and asked if he was OK.
Jones’ then manager Malki Kawa refuted those claims.
Dillashaw vs. Sandhagen was supposed to happen a few weeks ago. However, a cut to Dillashaw resulted in pushing the fight back to July 24.
The fight is now expected to headline UFC Vegas 32 at the APEX facility. If the fight happens it will mark two years and six months since Dillashaw last competed.
His previous fight was a losing effort against Henry Cejudo for the UFC flyweight championship. Prior to that Dillashaw took back-to-back wins over bitter rival Cody Garbrandt to win the UFC bantamweight title for a second time and then defend it. Both those wins came via strikes.
After losing to current champion Aljimain Sterling last year Sandhagen demolished both Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar with highlight reel finishes.