T.J. Dillashaw should like Cory Sandhagen, however he doesn’t sound too keen on some feedback made by his upcoming opponent within the lead-up to their struggle in Could.
Dillashaw makes his return to the Octagon after serving a two-year suspension from america Anti-Doping Company (USADA) following a constructive check for EPO days earlier than his struggle with Henry Cejudo at UFC Brooklyn in 2019. He turned eligible to compete once more this yr, so the hunt to search out an opponent for the previous bantamweight champion was shortly set in movement.
Though he had no scarcity of opponents to select from contemplating what number of prime bantamweights referred to as him out, Dillashaw finally settled on Sandhagen for his comeback. He defined why he took the struggle in a latest interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
“It undoubtedly wasn’t the one possibility, however like I stated. Everybody within the prime 5 referred to as me out and so it wasn’t the one possibility, however it’s the one that’s nice. I find it irresistible. I like this struggle. He’s obtained a number of hype behind him. He’s obtained two good wins [and] persons are blowing him up proper now. It’s such struggle for me and to get proper again on prime, proper the place I left off. I’ll be having the belt round my waist by the tip of the yr.”
The enchantment of returning to title competition with a win over Sandhagen was actually a motivating issue for Dillashaw, however it might not be the one one. Dillashaw and Sandhagen have a shared historical past with each other stemming from earlier coaching periods that occurred when Dillashaw was nonetheless coaching at Crew Alpha Male earlier than their notorious cut up.
Based on Dillashaw, they struck up a relationship that may see them work with each other on a number of events, so he was stunned to listen to what was being stated about him by his former teammate.
“I believe I used to be the largest advocate of getting him into the UFC earlier than he was even within the UFC, stated Dillashaw. “Telling him he could possibly be there and the fights he was taking and issues like that. I bear in mind when he first obtained into the UFC and he was combating guys like [Raphael] Assuncao and [John] Lineker, we might attain out forwards and backwards with one another in direct messages and ask my opinion on how he beats them and issues like that.
“I had no downside telling him all that recommendation as a result of I like Cory Sandhagen. He’s turn out to be slightly little bit of a douche currently, however speaking that [expletive] which is what he’s gotta do. That’s the secret, however I like Cory Sandhagen. I like all of his coaches. I like Elevation Battle Crew, nevertheless it’s enterprise. We’re gonna go on the market and deal with it and I’m gonna come again and get my belt.”
Sandhagen had spoken about his disdain for Dillashaw probably being rewarded with a right away title shot when he was taking “a few of the most critical steroids you are able to do within the sport”, however Dillashaw took subject with that framing of the scenario.
“Oh, simply speaking [expletive] about me failing a drug check after which one thing about me taking the worst steroid you can probably take, which I wasn’t even taking a steroid,” stated Dillashaw. “Simply operating his mouth on sure interviews and stuff on issues he is aware of is full nonsense, you understand? Simply pumping himself up and making himself really feel like he’s obtained an opportunity on this struggle.”
Dillashaw is assured in his possibilities in opposition to Sandhagen and hopes to fulfill the winner of the rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan after this struggle.