UFC bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen says that he is targeting a No. 1 contender fight against former champion TJ Dillashaw.
Sandhagen knocked out Marlon Moraes in October with a spinning wheel kick to once again emerge as a top contender at 135lbs. The next UFC bantamweight title fight takes place at UFC 256 in December when new champ Petr Yan defends his belt for the first time against Aljamain Sterling. But with one more, Sandhagen may find himself fighting the winner.
Speaking to MMAFighting.com, Sandhagen said that he expects his next fight to be a title eliminator, and he suggested a matchup with Dillashaw, the former champ who will return from his two-year suspension for PEDs in January. Dillashaw didn’t lose his belt, he vacated it, so perhaps he could jump right back into title contention with a win over Sandhagen.
“I think that I’m maybe one fight away from being that No. 1 guy. When you kind of look at the division, (Cody) Garbradnt is hurt and he’s at 125 now so that’s not really a possibility. Then you have Frankie (Edgar), who came off of a win against (Pedro) Munhoz, which isn’t like as good a competitor as Marlon. Then you have T.J. (Dillashaw) that’s coming back in January, who is known as one of the best bantamweights in history,” Sandhagen said.
“I definitely think my No. 1 contender fight should be against T.J. just because it makes the most sense. I think that I have a pretty strong case now, and when T.J. comes back, he’s going to have a pretty strong case. I’d love to fight him and then right after that when the winner of Yan and Sterling are ready to go, fight one of those guys in the spring or sometime.”
Would you like to see Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw, with a title shot on the line?