Cory Sandhagen vs T.J. Dillashaw
July 24, 2021 11:45 pm EDT
The Line: Dillashaw +165 / Sandhagen -190
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Cory Sandhagen and T.J. Dillashaw fight Saturday in UFC on ESPN 27 at the UFC Apex. Sandhagen enters this fight with a 14-2 record and has won 43 percent of his fights by knockout. Dillashaw enters this fight with a 16-4 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout.
Sandhagen has won nine of his last 10 fights and is coming off a February win over Frankie Edgar. Sandhagen is averaging 6.85 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. Sterling is averaging 1.07 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Sandhagen is coming off a first round knockout at UFC Vegas 18 that earned performance of the night. Sandhagen landed two strikes in the victory and has produced knockouts in his last two fights. Sandhagen has a background in kickboxing and is a black belt in BJJ. Sandhagen is a bouncy athlete who fights with a lot of energy and isn’t afraid to let his hands go. He is highly effective in ground and pound if a fight gets to the canvas. Sandhagen does a wonderful job of closing the distance and is terrific in the clinch where he uses knees and elbows. A long, rangy fighter, Sandhagen can be a bit unpredictable on the feet and is good enough to hold his own on the ground if he gets taken down. This will be Sandhagen’s third career fight in Nevada.
Dillashaw has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a January (2019) loss to Henry Cejudo. Dillashaw is averaging 5.37 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Dillashaw is averaging 1.68 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37 percent. Dillashaw is coming off a first round knockout loss at UFC on ESPN+ 1. Due to an USADA suspension, Dillashaw will fight for the first time in over two years. He is now 35 years old. Dillashaw is an obvious accurate and powerful striker who does a lot of his damage standing up where he mixes in knees and leg kicks. However, Dillashaw has a viscous ground and pound and a high quality defense as well. A black bet in Muay Thai and purple belt in BJJ, Dillashaw is a patient fighter who usually plays the long game and has won five of his seven career decisions. It’s going to be interesting to see what Dillashaw looks like after so much time outside of the octagon. This will be Dillashaw’s sixth career fight in Nevada.
On the surface, Dillashaw at big plus money is worth a look, as you’re getting a favorable price with one of the best to ever do it. However, Dillashaw has been out of the octagon for about two and a half years. Sandhagen is also coming off two highlight victories, his stock is high right now, and he’s the much bigger fighter of the two. This isn’t an easy return fight for Dillashaw. Sandhagen is going to go to work on the feet and I question if Dillashaw and potential rust will be able to hang.
You’d love a cheaper price, but I like Sandhagen.