TJ Dillashaw answered a lot of questions with a split decision win over Cory Sandhagen in the main event of Saturday's UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas. While some thought Sandhagen deserved the nod from the judges, Dillashaw proved that two years away from competition wouldn't be too big an obstacle to overcome for the former bantamweight champion.
Dillashaw served a two-year suspension for using performance-enhancing substances, and he was pushed to the limit by Sandhagen, who was 9-1 in his past 10 fights and ranked No. 3 in the world. But he won and put himself back into the title conversation.
Dillashaw faced adversity throughout the fight, from a tweaked knee to a bad cut on his face, but he persevered to eke out the narrow win.
Now what? Several fighters, such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, took to social media to give their takes on the win and Dillashaw's future.
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, I've been saying this is what I was told. Winner fighting Yan was news for me just now. I didn't hear that one. https://t.co/ay3NP5wAFs— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) July 25, 2021
Let's run it !!— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) July 25, 2021
Damn that was a close fight! I got Sandhagen 3-2 #UFCVegas32— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) July 25, 2021
Great fight .. I'd say Corey took it , great angles , takedown defense and counter punching backing up— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) July 25, 2021
It goes Aljo vs Yan , Dillashaw gets the winner . That cut is going to take sometime to heal ! #UFC— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) July 25, 2021
If Cory didn't spin at all I think he would've finished this fight— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 25, 2021
@TJDillashaw showed a lot of heart! Great win! Congrats!!— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) July 25, 2021
I had Cory winning. #UFCVegas32— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) July 25, 2021
I loved this fight, but right now Peter Yan seems a cut above everyone in the division. Best bantamweight in the world.— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) July 25, 2021
Man, you can feel the pain in Corys voice. Not going to lie I thought it was 2-2 goin into that round n I felt he landed the cleaner shots in the last round. But, maybe they factored in the forward pressure & clinch work from TJ. Either way great fight. #UFCVegas32— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) July 25, 2021