Former two-time undisputed UFC bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw is finally slated to make his return from a two-year retroactive USADA suspension — headlining a UFC Fight Night event on May 8th. against the surging #2 ranked contender, Cory Sandhagen in a potential title-eliminator. As of writing a location or venue for the event has yet to be determined by the promotion.
Hoping to finally secure his well overdue title shot, Elevation Fight Team mainstay and Eliot Marshall trainee, Sandhagen returned to the winner’s enclosure following his first promotional loss at UFC 250 last June, nabbing a pair of highlight-reel knockout wins over former title challenger, Marlon Moraes, and former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar.
Making his first outing since UFC Fight Night Brooklyn in January of 2019, former bantamweight champion, Dillashaw dropped a quickfire opening round knockout loss to then-flyweight titleholder, Henry Cejudo as he attempted to become a two-weight champion held simultaneously. After the event, Dillashaw was slapped with a two-year retroactive suspension amid a positive test result for the banned substance, erythropoietin (EPO). News of the headlining clash was first reported by ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto.
Dropping a one-sided rear-naked choke loss to current undisputed bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling in a high-profile title eliminator last June, Sandhagen rebounded in spectacular fashion, with his UFC Fight Island headliner against Moraes in October, stopping the Brazilian with a second round wheel-kick.
Taking co-main event honours in his return to the UFC Apex in February, the Aurora native launched into title contention with a breathtaking flying-knee stoppage of the above mentioned, Edgar inside the opening minute of the first round.
For Angels Camp veteran, Dillashaw, the first round knockout loss to the since retired, Cejudo snapped a four-fight winning spree for the Bang Muay Thai trainee, who had lodged wins over two-time opponent, common-foes Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker, before reclaiming and then defending the bantamweight championship against arch-rival, former Team Alpha MMA teammate, Cody Garbrandt.