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UFC 265’s Casey Kenney: T.J. Dillashaw deserves ‘next title shot’

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Casey Kenney doesn’t believe T.J. Dillashaw out-performed Cory Sandhagen at UFC Vegas 32, but deserves a title shot nonetheless.

The scorecards for Cory Sandhagen vs. T.J. Dillashaw (and many other fights at UFC Vegas 32) caused a fierce debate online; however, Casey Kenny says Dillashaw is deserving of an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight title shot.

Kenney — who is coming off a loss to Dillashaw’s rival Dominick Cruz — fights Song Yadong at UFC 265, which will take place inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Sat., Aug. 7, 2021, via ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV). Ahead of the fight, Kenney gave his assessment on Dillashaw’s win over Sandhagen (watch highlights) and the lay of the land for his fellow bantamweights.

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CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLEHEADER! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to T-Mobile Arena with a pair of thrilling world championship bouts. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 coaches collide when Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, defends his title against No. 2-ranked contender, Brian Ortega. UFC 266’s co-main event will see women’s Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko go for her sixth consecutive title defense when she meets No. 3-seeded contender, Lauren Murphy. Last, and certainly not least, Nick Diaz returns against former Welterweight roost ruler, Robbie Lawler, in a five-round banger.

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“I thought he looked great,” Kenney told MMAMania.com of Dillashaw’s performance. “For me, [in] a fistfight, the damage Cory did was way more effective and scored more in a fight, in my eyes, than the body locks that T.J. had. But it was an impressive performance from T.J.

“I’d like to see him and [Petr] Yan fight,” he added, insisting Dillashaw deserves the shot whether it’s against expected title challenger Yan or champion Aljamain Sterling. “I think T.J. has the next title shot.”

Kenney also reflected on his split decision loss to Cruz (watch highlights) at UFC 259 earlier this year.

“I definitely think I can work back from it. One of the judges gave me the nod in that fight. Overall, it was a pretty good performance so nothing to knock there. I’m in a position where I can fight anybody right now. I get Song, I could probably work my way back into the top 15 or I can get an up-and-comer. I like that position because it gives you options. I can get a lot of fights in,” he says. “I just turned 30. I’m here for a long time. One or two spectacular finishes definitely get me back into the mix.

“It was pretty much a Dominick Cruz fight,” Kenney continued of the fight itself. “The wildcard in that fight was the slippery mats. It was hard finding my footing in that first round. It kind of threw my game plan off a bit. But as far as Dominick Cruz, he was crafty and hard to hit.”

UFC President, Dana White, was convinced to upgrade the performance bonuses from $50,000 to $75,000 when the promotion came to Houston for UFC 262. White reintroduced the $75,000 bonus for UFC 264: “Poirier vs. McGregor 3” and Kenney will definitely inquire about doing it again.

“I’ll definitely be asking for it,” he shared. “They continued that on the McGregor card so maybe they’ll do it for pay-per-view cards from here on out. I’ll definitely be raising my hand to ask for that.”

UFC 265 is headlined by a UFC interim Heavyweight title fight pitting Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane.


MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 265 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN2/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 265: “Lewis vs. Gane” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the entire UFC 265 fight card and PPV line up click here.