UFC on ESPN 27
Photo Credit: MMA Junkie

FSM Essential Preview: UFC on ESPN 27 – Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw



UFC on ESPN 27 will feature the return of former champion taking on a fast rising star.


UFC on ESPN 27
Photo Credit: MMA Junkie

The UFC is back in action with a battle in the bantamweight division as uprising star Cory Sandhagen ( 14-2 6 KOs ) welcomes back former champion TJ Dillashaw ( 16-4 8 KOs ) in the main event.

Climbing up the ranks at 135lbs, Sandhagen has made a name for himself as one of the more exciting fighters to watch in the division. On a two-fight win streak, both came via highlight-reel finishes over Marlon Moraes and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Sandhagen has developed a reputation that when he fights, you better not blink. Being 7-1 in the UFC, The Sandman has racked up one Fight of the Night bonus, two Performance of the Night bonuses, and a Knockout of the Month from his flying knee KO over Edgar earlier this year in February. More of a counter striker looking for openings to explode win his opponents, Sandhagen is looking to add one more victory to his record and catapult himself into title contention with an impressive victory.

Last week we saw the return of a former champion in the women’s ranks as Miesha Tate made her return to the octagon after a five-year retirement. This time around, another former champion returns, this time in the men’s ranks as TJ Dillashaw makes his long-awaited step back into action. Once regarded as the greatest Bantamweight in UFC history, TJ tried his hand at becoming a two-division champion by moving down to 125lbs to challenge then-champion Henry Cejudo. After a failed attempt, it was made know that TJ had also failed a drug test for a performance-enhancing drug, recombinant human erythropoietin ( EPO ).


UFC on ESPN 27
Photo Credit: MMA Junkie

Hit with a two-year suspension, Dillashaw will see his first action since January 2019. Looking to get back in the groove of things, to bring some respect back to his name, and to show that his legacy will be tarnished by a mistake but rather be one of triumph and redemption, TJ is looking to show that this is all behind him. He is still one of the best in the game regardless of his misguided decision. We can get into sports doping another time, but this is a chance for TJ to start back on the path to the title. It won’t be easy against one of the young, hungry monsters in the division, but that’s fighting in the UFC for you, no easy matchups.

These two warriors will do battle as the UFC returns for another card on ESPN Saturday night. Will Sandhagen continue his climb towards earring a title shot? Will the former champion be able to start the process of regaining his title? Can Sandhagen find an opening and land another highlight-reel finish? Will the aggressive come-forward style of TJ, who mixes in great footwork, head movement, and combinations, be too much and overwhelm his opponent, as we’ve seen before? Past meets present as these two gladiators due battle to see who moves on the Bantamweight division.


Here is how the rest of the fight card shakes out


The women’s bantamweight matchup between contenders Macy Chiasson and Aspen Ladd had to be canceled, promotion officials announced Thursday. Though the UFC did not specify which fighter was injured, MMA Junkie reported that Chiasson was the injured party.


With the change, the UFC on ESPN 27 lineup now looks like this:


  • Raulian Paiva vs. Kyler Phillips
  • Darren Elkins vs. Darrick Minner
  • Maycee Barber vs. Miranda Maverick
  • Randy Costa vs. Adrian Yanez
  • Brendan Allen vs. Puna Soriano
  • Ian Heinisch vs. Nassourdine Imavov
  • Mickey Gall vs. Jordan Williams
  • Julio Arce vs. Andre Ewell
  • Sijara Eubanks vs. Elise Reed
  • Diana Belbita vs. Hannah Goldy


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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Kalani on Twitter @klua11

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