UFC on ESPN 27 results: T.J. Dillashaw takes split decision over Cory Sandhagen, calls for title shot

·3 min read

T.J. Dillashaw returned in style at UFC on ESPN 27 after 30 months away from the cage.

A former UFC bantamweight champion, Dillashaw (16-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) defeated Cory Sandhagen (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47).

The bantamweight bout was the UFC on ESPN 27 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.

Dillashaw, 35, competed for the first time since his hiatus due to a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspension that stemmed from a positive drug test for EPO surrounding his previous fight – a TKO loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC on ESPN 1 in January 2019.

In the opening round, ring rust didn’t appear to be a contributing factor while Dillashaw switched stances in vintage form. A flying knee attempt sent Sandhagen toppling over Dillashaw. As he slipped over the back, Sandhagen nearly locked in an inverse triangle – but Dillashaw escaped.

The first round was closely contested. In Round 2, however, Sandhagen began to take over. He split Dillashaw open with a hard flying knee, a counter shot he landed often throughout the fight.

Though the doctor checked the pulsating cut, Dillashaw was allowed to continue. Through the rest of Round 2, Sandhagen seemed to be a step ahead – momentum he carried into the opening minutes of Round 3.

The third round saw Dillashaw land a series of leg kicks, that took their toll on Sandhagen. Against the fence, Dillashaw utilized his clinch work until time expired.

In the championship rounds, both fighters had their moments. Dillashaw seemingly found a second win, while Sandhagen kept up his high-output pacing. When the judges’ scorecards were read, Dillashaw earned two of the three nods.

After the fight, Dillashaw called for a shot at the winner of UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan – or a top-five opponent.

The victory returns him into the win column and continues his streak of never having lost consecutive fights as a professional. With the win, Dillashaw has won five of his most recent six outings including defeats of Cody Garbrandt, John Lineker, and Raphael Assuncao.

As for Sandhagen, the loss snaps a two-fight winning streak as he drops to 2-2 in his most recent four fights. UFC on ESPN 27 marked the second time Sandhagen lost via decision.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 27 results include:

  • T.J. Dillashaw def. Cory Sandhagen via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

  • Raulian Paiva def. Kyler Phillips via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

  • Darren Elkins def. Darrick Minner via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:48

  • Maycee Barber def. Miranda Maverick via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Adrian Yanez def. Randy Costa via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:11

  • Brendan Allen def. Puna Soriano via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Nassourdine Imavov def. Ian Heinisch via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:09

  • Mickey Gall def. Jordan Williams via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:57

  • Julio Arce def. Andre Ewell via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:45

  • Sijara Eubanks def. Elise Reed via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:49

  • Diana Belbita def. Hannah Goldy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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Twitter reacts to T.J. Dillashaw's narrow win over Cory Sandhagen in classic at UFC on ESPN 27