Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has had several huge moments throughout his career, but Saturday’s Fight Night main event against Cory Sandhagen might be the biggest fight of his career — at least in terms of perception.
Dillashaw (16-4) returns to competition for the first time in two and a half years after serving a two-year suspension for taking erythropoietin (EPO).
Dillashaw, 35, says he has moved past his mistake and is looking toward the future.
The rest of the sport, predictably, is not ready to do the same. Fair or not, a large part of Dillashaw’s legacy will be determined by how he looks in this comeback. If he resembles the fighter he once was, it will be easier for history to write off the 2019 failed test as an anomaly. If he looks significantly different, history won’t be as kind in judging his previous accomplishments.
“Is there pressure to prove myself after what happened? I mean, that’s a question for other people,” Dillashaw said. “I know the truth and I don’t really care. I’m not gonna add that pressure to myself.”
Follow the action with Marc Raimondi and Tim Fiorvanti or watch the fights on ESPN+.
Fight in progress:
Still to come:
Men’s bantamweight: Cory Sandhagen (14-2, 7-1 UFC, -195) vs. TJ Dillashaw (17-4, 12-4 UFC, +165)
Men’s bantamweight: Kyler Phillips (9-1, 3-0 UFC, -260) vs. Raulian Paiva (20-3, 2-2 UFC, +210)
Men’s featherweight: Darren Elkins (26-9, 15-8 UFC, +135) vs. Darrick Minner (26-11, 2-1 UFC, -160)
Women’s flyweight: Miranda Maverick (11-2, 2-0 UFC, -150) vs. Maycee Barber (8-2, 3-2 UFC, +125)
Welterweight: Mickey Gall (6-3, 5-3 UFC, +155) vs. Jordan Williams (9-4, 0-1 UFC, -180)
Middleweight: Punahele Soriano (8-0, 2-0 UFC, -110) vs. Brendan Allen (16-4, 4-1 UFC, -110)
Middleweight: Nassourdine Imavov (9-3, 1-1 UFC, +135) vs. Ian Heinisch (14-4, 4-3 UFC, -160)
Men’s bantamweight: Randy Costa (6-1, 2-1 UFC, +200) vs. Adrian Yanez (13-3, 2-0 UFC, -240)
Men’s bantamweight: Julio Arce (16-4, 3-2 UFC, -200) vs. Andre Ewell (17-7, 4-3 UFC, +170)
Women’s flyweight: Sijara Eubanks (7-6, 5-4 UFC, -340) vs. Elise Reed (4-0, 0-0 UFC, +270)
UFC Fight Night Live results and analysis — Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw
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