Cory Sandhagen Won’t be Happy if T.J. Dillashaw Gets Title Shot Next
T.J. Dillashaw wants to fight for the title when his suspension ends, but Cory Sandhagen thinks the former champ has work to do first.
As T.J. Dillashaw gets set to return to the Octagon in 2021, he’s made it clear he wants to fight for the UFC’s bantamweight title, right out of the gate. But, Cory Sandhagen has added his voice to the crowd of people who think Dillashaw needs to defeat a top contender first.
Sandhagen says contenders have been “putting in work”
Dillashaw is about to finish the two-year suspension he was handed in January, 2019, when he tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), following his loss to Henry Cejudo.
In recent months, Dillashaw has claimed he’s been told he’d receive an immediate title shot when he returns. He’s also made it clear he wants to fight for the belt, immediately.
Well, ahead of Sandhagen’s February 6th bout with Frankie Edgar, he spoke with SCMP MMA. While talking about the title shot mix, and Dillashaw’s place in it, Sandhagen said this (quotes via Middle Easy).
“I think TJ definitely needs a win over one of these top guys too, before he comes back and fights for a belt,” Sandhagen said.
“I heard him say he’s playing the financially secure card, and ‘I’ll wait for a title shot,’ this and that. We’ve been putting in work while you’ve been gone.
So that would kind of be a bummer if they just gave it to him.”
And while talking about what he hopes is on the line in his bout with Edgar, the 28-year-old said this.
“I think it’s gotta be a title shot, if it makes sense in my head. That’s why I took the fight more than anything,” Sandhagen explained.
“I think if I beat Frankie and I keep myself busy, and I don’t play this game of ‘Oh I’m the number two guy so I deserve it after that. I’m not going to play that game with the UFC.
“I wanted to stay busy, I wanted a big name, I wanted someone that is good, and Edgar’s it.”
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It will be interesting to see whether the UFC taps Dillashaw for an immediate title shot. While it’s true, Dillashaw didn’t lose the bantamweight title in a fight, there does seem to be a lot of people who think he needs to score a win before receiving a title shot.
The argument being, that since he tested positive for banned substances, and admitted to using them, he doesn’t deserve that opportunity.
The thing is, however, that a lot of the same people who don’t think Dillashaw deserves to fight for a title next, will tune in to watch him fight for the belt.