Former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon this Saturday at UFC on ESPN 27.
Dillashaw, who received a lengthy suspension for failing a post-fight drug test, will meet Cory Sandhagen in a five-round bantamweight contest. The event airs live on both ESPN and ESPN+ from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Along with working back towards being cleared and competing again, Dillashaw also had to overcome an injury. These two were scheduled for the recent event that featured Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez in May, but was scrapped when Dillashaw suffered a cut in training.
The 35-year-old Dillashaw was handed a two-year suspension for testing positive after his bout with Henry Cejudo back in 2019. His suspension was for testing positive for an EPO, to which Dillashaw admitted was his decision alone, taking full responsbility.
What kind of fighter will we see in Dillashaw now? He is a two-time former champion with a 16-4 record, scoring 11 finishes during his career.
But how much of that was helped by using a banned substance? Any? All?
This also will not be some easy return fight.
Sandhagen is coming off a first round, 28-second knockout of Frankie Edgar in which he landed a perfect flying knee to finish the fight and improve to 14-2.
Since joining the UFC, Sandhagen’s only loss came to current champion Aljamain Sterling. He’s also topped the likes of Marlon Moraes, Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker.
The card is also scheduled to feature Aspen Ladd taking on Macy Chiasson, Darren Elkins going up against Darrick Minner and Miranda Maverick meeting Maycee Barber.