Saturday’s UFC Vegas 32 card was one hell of a sleeper topped off by a war between former teammates T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen. In the end, it was Dillashaw who got the controversial split decision win off sheer hustle despite Sandhagen playing his face like a drum for the majority of the fight.
Backstage with Megan Olivi, here’s what Dillashaw credited the win to: “My pace, my control, using that cage work and just pressure. And landing some big shots, which I know he did too. But ... that pressure.”
As for the nasty cut above his eye, Dillashaw revealed that it was actually the cut that initially delayed the Sandhagen fight re-opening.
“I definitely couldn’t see, I had to play it off,” Dillashaw admitted. “There was some good blood going into my eye. It was unfortunate, I’ve had this cut now — I was getting ready for him in my last camp and I got cut twice. And so it was just waiting to get opened, I might have to get some things cleaned up in there. So I just had to not think about it, push past it. Nothing in there was I worried about getting finished, it was just about pushing the pace.”
The story of the fight in T.J.’s mind was more about what he pushed himself through than what Sandhagen did.
“I had a really, really rough camp,” Dillashaw said during the UFC Vegas 32 post-fight press conference. “I couldn’t even spar this whole camp. The first camp going, we were supposed to go May 8. It went smooth other than getting cut. I was able to spar, my cut was going good. The second camp around, I could not stay healthy. The first injury was a pinched nerve in my foot doing a slider board. Up until two days ago, I had to work out with shoes on. This is like the worst thing I could’ve been dealing with.”
“I tore the MCL in my right knee. I hurt my left shoulder, as well. The whole camp, it was a real rough camp. I didn’t want to obviously talk about it. I didn’t want to make excuses. I just needed to get out there. It had been two f—king long. There was no way I was going to pull out from the fight.
“There was no way I was pulling out,” he concluded. “I could’ve walked out with one foot. I wouldn’t care.”
With the win Dillashaw seems poised to fight for the Bantamweight title he over a failed USADA test for EPO. Who he’d fight will be determined by the hotly contested UFC 267 fight between champion Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan. Both men sounded interested enough, although Sterling is still having a hard time getting people to take his championship reign seriously.
Respect to the warrior @TJDillashaw Beating you is always been my goal. This is my division now— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) July 25, 2021
Yea right. That fucker is fighting me https://t.co/jhcMlCeOFW— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) July 25, 2021
What do you think, Maniacs? Has Dilly done enough to deserve a title shot or is he lucky to have walked away from UFC Vegas 32 being called a winner?
For complete UFC Vegas 32 results and coverage click HERE.