Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight strikers Cory Sandhagen and T.J. Dillashaw will meet TODAY (Saturday, July 24, 2021) at UFC Vegas 32 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sandhagen quickly rose to fame at 135 pounds, which is rarely an easy task. Defending champion Aljamain Sterling gave him a quick defeat in June 2020, but since then Sandhagen has been back on the cover with two prominent, violent knockouts. Meanwhile, Dillashaw seeks redemption. I don’t know if beating a current top contender pretty much excuses a clear performance-enhancing drug (PED) failure, but it at least confirms that Dillashaw remains a title threat even after his 2.5-year tenure at the bank. .
This is a showdown of fighters with some real similarities in their styles of attack. One difference that stands out from the side, however, is Sandhagen’s advantage in height and reach. Dillashaw can function well on the outside, but physical qualities certainly play a big role at a high level.
In order to use his range advantage, Sandhagen has to set his jab early and often start with feinting. Fints will be important, otherwise Dillashaw will definitely try to counter and time takedowns. If Sandhagen can leave him in the dark, “Sandman” can start building his combinations, because he shines.
Another interesting unknown element of this confrontation is Dillashaw himself. Historically, Dillashaw thrived because of his conditioning, his ability to push through an absurd pace even at the end of grueling competition. At 35, and presumably with fewer illegal substances in his system, will he be able to keep that old style?
Sandhagen should invest in body work and really try to find out.