Hello fight fans we are back with another night of exciting fights to relish as the action takes place in Las Vegas this weekend. There will be excitement in the air as this card feature upcoming contenders who are known amongst fight fans now. The card features some exciting coin flip fights which will be fun to watch but the centre of attention will be the two men around whom this card was built. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Cory Sandhagen Vs TJ Dillashaw
The much-awaited return of the former Bantamweight king is finally here as he will take on his former training partner and the current no.2 contender. True fight fans had marked the calendar as soon as this fight was announced, this is going to be an thrilling and much anticipated war. TJ Dillashaw is back to conquer his belt again, but his pathway will go through Colorado’s own no.2 ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen.
Since TJ has been away from the sport, Cory rose to the big stage through an impressive 5 fight win streak in the UFC with 3 daunting finishes. Cory had made his case, that he was here to stay as he was setup for a No,1 contender fight with current champion Aljamain Sterling. Cory came up short in this high-stake matchup, but he made a quick turnaround to knock out two formidable opponents in former title challenger Marlon Moraes and former lightweight king Frankie Edgar.
Cory is a precise striker and by many regarded as one of the most technically sound strikers in the UFC. Cory has the largest reach in the Bantamweight division, and he uses it to his advantage by maintaining distance through kicks. He has an impressive 75% finish rate in the UFC and his 6 knockout, and 3 submission wins make a great case for his well-roundedness.
Cory’s last 2 wins have been through wild finishes like Flying Knee and a Spinning heel kick. Another impressive and wild finish this week against a former champion will set Cory up for his much awaited and well-deserved title shot.
TJ Dillashaw is still argued by many to be the best bantamweight of all time and he is back this week to further cement his legacy. TJ entered the UFC a decade ago through The Ultimate Fighter as a bright prospect. Then undefeated TJ lost his UFC debut which was a major setback at the time, but he made an impressive comeback to win 6 of his next 7 fights which set him up for a title shot.
He faced then champion, undefeated in the UFC and one of the best fighters in the world back then Renan Barao. TJ closed as a 7.0 underdog according to Vegas and he shocked the world, as he dominated Renan and eventually knocked him out to conquer the World championship.
Having started an impressive title run with 2 defences and then was setup with a fight against ex bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. TJ came up short in this close fight via split decision, but he did not lose hope as he gathered 2 wins to set himself up for another title fight. This time he was facing another undefeated fierce champion in Cody Garbrandt and TJ closed in as a sizeable underdog in their title fight.
TJ faced some early adversity but eventually surprised the fight world again by knocking Cody out and becoming a two-time Bantamweight champion. TJ was being called as the best fighter in the UFC as he set himself up for a dream match with Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo to become a double champ.
He came up short in a controversial stoppage, but his misery did not end as he tested positive for PED usage and was banned for 2 years by the UFC. We have witnessed many successful comeback stories like Jon Jones, who won the hearts of fight fans with an impressive comeback and TJ will look to do the very same in the Octagon this week.
This is an interesting no.1 contender fight as both men are hungry to get that title shot. The pathway to Cory’s victory is through maintaining his reach advantage and hurting TJ from the outside. Cory will look to switch stances, feint kicks to the body and eventually look for a head kick to knockout TJ.
Contrarily, TJ will have to mix in the wrestling and make this a dirty fight as Cory might be a better clean kickboxer. TJ will use his own head kicks and takedown attempts to cover the distance and get this fight into a boxing range. Cory is favoured to find the early knockout to put TJ away, but we believe the former champ has an impressive chin on him to survive the early onslaught.
TJ will have the cardio advantage, if he can be successful in mixing the takedowns and taking this to the championship rounds, then he has a great chance to shock the world again. Ultimately, we are making a bold prediction here by siding with the former champion here. We believe TJ Dillashaw was and still is a special fighter and he will be able to use his experience to take this to deep waters and finish Cory.
Both these fighters have an impressive finish rate so we are offering double winnings if your selected fighter can call it a night before the final buzzer.
Prediction- TJ Dillashaw by Knockout
Stake Odds- 4.50 (Odds are Subject to Change*).
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