Former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw’s comeback fight will be against Cory Sandhagen and serves as the headliner for the upcoming UFC Fight Night 189 event on May 8th.
Dillashaw is returning after serving a two-year suspension due to a positive test for the banned performance-enhancer EPO following his fight with Henry Cejudo in early 2019.
That fight had been Dillashaw’s bid to become a double-champion, cutting down to flyweight to take on the division’s title-holder, but it back-fired in a big way as he was TKO’d in just 32 seconds and then the PED suspension shortly afterward forcing him to vacate his bantamweight belt.
So, the 35-year-old Dillashaw has been left with a lot to prove as he tries to rebuild his reputation and get back to the form that had seen him win eight of his previous nine fights, defeating the likes of Cody Garbrandt (twice), John Lineker, Raphael Assuncao and Renan Barao (twice) along the way.
To do so he’ll have to get past one of the division’s most in-form fighters, with the No.2 ranked Sandhagen having won seven of his last eight fights in the Octagon.
His only loss during that period came last year against recently crowned champion Aljamain Sterling, who submitted him in the first round.
Beyond that though, Sandhagen’s form has been impressive, as evidenced by the fact he’s since rebounded with a TKO victory over Marlon Moraes followed by a 28 second flying knee knockout of Frankie Edgar.