UFC Vegas 32: Will T.J. Dillashaw Prove The Oddsmakers Wrong?
T.J. Dillashaw sounds extremely confident that he’s going to reclaim the UFC’s bantamweight title. But, the oddsmakers clearly aren’t so sure, ahead of Dillashaw’s UFC Vegas 32 fight with Cory Sandhagen.
Will the former champ prove his critics and doubters wrong? And return Sandhagen to the loss column on Saturday night?
Dillashaw is the underdog as UFC Vegas 32 nears
When Dillashaw steps into the Octagon this weekend, it will mark the first time he’s competed, since January, 2019. Back then, Dillashaw attempted to become the promotion’s latest champ-champ, by moving down to flyweight for a superfight with Henry Cejudo.
Not only did Cejudo quickly halt those plans with a stoppage win, not long after, it was revealed Dillashaw had tested positive for EPO. Dillashaw was hit with a two-year suspension as a result.
According to SportsBettingDime.com, the fight between Cory Sandhagen against TJ Dillashaw is such an intriguing matchup, since it’s hard to know how Dillashaw will look after two and a half years away. Back in 2019, some considered Dillashaw to be the greatest bantamweight of all time. But, fast forward to today, and he’s now 35-years-old.
Not only that, some have questioned whether the game has caught up with Dillashaw. When he was sitting at the top of the bantamweight division, Dillashaw’’s striking was routinely praised for its diversity. But, here in 2021, some have argued that many other fighters, including Sandhagen, have similar or better weapons.
This is likely a key reason why he’s the underdog with odds at +155.
Dillashaw has no doubts he’ll win the belt back
But, despite all this, Dillashaw has no doubts he’s going to hoist the bantamweight title once again. Case in point, while talking to Brendan Schaub recently, he said the following (quotes via MMA Mania).
“If I thought I got somewhere due to PEDs, I wouldn’t be calling out Cory Sandhagen,” Dillashaw said, while referring to his suspension for EPO. “I wouldn’t be asking for someone in the top five. I wouldn’t be knowing that I’m getting my belt back. I’m going to be a fucking animal when I get back in the cage.
“This is the real title fight,” Dillashaw added. “Watching Aljamain (Sterling) and Petr (Yan) fight, I wasn’t very impressed. I know Aljamain beat Cory but I wasn’t impressed with that performance. I think this is the real title fight, I get to come out and prove myself and there’s some pressure, for sure.”
We shall see
It’s going to be fascinating to see whether Dillashaw can halt Sandhagen’s rise up the bantamweight ranks. After all, the 29-year-old is coming off an electric knockout of the legendary Frankie Edgar and he’s gone 7-1 in the UFC to date.
If Dillashaw hasn’t lost a step, mixes in his wrestling, and can keep a high pace for multiple rounds, he could score the upset.