One of the major narratives going into UFC bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen’s upcoming fight with former champion T.J. Dillashaw is the fact that the two men used to be training partners.
This adds a unique dynamic to the headlining bout, in that one of the fighters likely knows he used to get the better of the other more often than not. There is also often a level of kinship that training partners develop with one another.
However, Cory Sandhagen recently revealed that he has no qualms about fighting Dillashaw. Speaking at UFC Vegas 32 media day, Sandhagen was asked if his shared history with Dillashaw would impact the fight in any way. He stated the following:
“If it was maybe a little bit closer to the time that we were training then perhaps. I don’t think I’ve talked to him since we fought on the same card, when he fought Cejudo and I fought Batista. So nah, it doesn’t feel that strange. I don’t think it will be hard to hit him in the face or anything.”
Cory Sandhagen d iscusses whether Dillashaw’s suspension will affect the fight
Another facet of the intrigue surrounding Cory Sandhagen vs. T.J. Dillashaw is the fact that Dillashaw is returning from a two-year suspension.
The suspension was handed out after Dillashaw tested positive for performance enchancing drugs, more specifically EPO. He now returns after more than two years out to face a prolific knockout artist in Cory Sandhagen.
However, when asked if he allows himself to consider the fact that Dillashaw may not be as dangerous as he once was, with both ring rust and the lack of EPO both potentially debilitating factors, Sandhagen stated the following:
“That’s an unhealthy way to prepare. But I will say that we’ll all find out at the same time because like you said, who knows how he is. It would be really foolish of me to walk into a fight thinking T.J. hadn’t made some improvements and that he hadn’t added tools to his toolbelt. And that he isn’t going to come in the same competitor that he’s always been. But that’s always the case with every fight,” stated Cory Sandhagen.