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UFC Vegas 32: Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw Fight Breakdown

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The UFC returns to live-action this Saturday night at the UFC Apex facility for the penultimate card from the MMA promotion in the month of July, UFC Vegas 32, also known as UFC on ESPN 27.

As the other title suggests, UFC Vegas 32 will be featured exclusively on ESPN inside the United States, along with a live simulcast on its subscription-based streamer ESPN+.

Coverage of the 14-fight card (barring any postponements for any reason) will begin with the prelims at 4 pm ET/ 1 pm PT, followed by main card action at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT — including the UFC Vegas 32 main event.

In your headliner on Saturday night, it’ll be a bantamweight confrontation matching #2 Cory Sandhagen (14-2) with unranked TJ Dillashaw (17-4).

Your UFC Vegas 32 main event, as with all UFC main events, will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round — a fight that could see Cory Sandhagen in line for a title at 135 lbs. with a victory.

UFC Vegas 32 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the UFC Vegas 32 main event, Sandhagen is the taller man, standing 5-foot-11, with Dillashaw standing 5-foot-6.

In addition, Sandhagen owns a two-inch reach advantage (70 inches to 68 inches) over Dillashaw, along with a 1 1/2-inch leg reach advantage (40 inches even to 38 1/2 inches) going into this bout.

Saturday’s UFC Vegas 32 main event will also see Dillashaw make his UFC promotional return after serving a two-year USADA suspension upon violating the promotion’s anti-doping rules.

Cory Sandhagen Expecting Good Fight in UFC Vegas 32 Main Event

Cory Sandhagen goes into Saturday’s main event sporting a 4-1 record in his last five MMA appearances, including an ongoing two-fight winning streak. Last time out, he bested Frankie Edgar (first-round knockout due to a flying knee) during UFC Vegas 18 on Feb. 6 in that night’s co-headlining attraction.

In a recent interview with Overtime Heroics’ James Lynch, Sandhagen offered up his thoughts on the UFC Vegas 32 main event, saying:

“I think when I go into every fight, I get all of the advantages that I have going into every fight where I get to be longer, I get to be usually quicker than everyone, and I get to use that fully to my advantage. I get to stand at a range where I can hit them and they can’t hit me and until they do something about it, I can stick with that.”

In that same interview, Sandhagen continued with:

“So, I think as far as a striking fight, it would be the most dynamic fight that the UFC has maybe, you know, I don’t want to tick anyone off or whatever, but I think as far as a dynamic, stylistic fight, I think that that would be one of the UFC’s most exciting ones. TJ is a super dynamic guy, He has a lot of tricks. He switches his feet a lot. He has great footwork, and I do the same thing. I think that both of us are pretty unorthodox but in a really technical way. I think that it would be one of the UFC’s most dynamic-looking fights that they’ve ever put on.”

TJ Dillashaw Reenters MMA with UFC Vegas 32 Main Event

In the other corner, TJ Dillashaw reenters MMA after his suspension having posted a 4-1 record in his last five MMA appearances, but saw a four-fight winning streak snapped most recently (first-round knockout due to punches) against the now-retired Henry Cejudo during UFC on ESPN+ 1 on Jan. 19, 2019, for the UFC Flyweight Championship.

As previously stated, after this fight, Dillashaw was suspended for two years upon a positive test for erythropoietin, a banned substance, and was given a retroactive USADA suspension on April 9, 2019.

Last December, the former title challenger went public with his hopes that his first UFC fight after the ban would be for a championship, saying in an interview:

“They know I want the title fight. I want that title. I want it right away because you’ve got a guy, Petr Yan, that beat someone for the belt who was 0-2 in the weight division. You know, how are you calling yourself a champion?”

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 32 main event looks to be a toss-up, with Sandhagen holding a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Dillashaw holding a purple belt in BJJ and a black belt in Bang Muay Thai, so this could very well turn into another grappler’s treat.

Watch Out for Sandhagen’s Flying Knee

Looking back on the tape of Sandhagen’s most recent appearance, this is a man who can end a fight rather abruptly, as Edgar learned firsthand last winter. In that fight, Sandhagen moved briskly toward Frankie Edgar and then just pounced on him with that flying knee — so if his movement is on point here, look out.

It could be an early good night for the returning Dillashaw.

Dillashaw Must Avoid Getting Taken Down

It was an early good night for TJ Dillashaw in his last appearance as Cejudo wasted no time knocking him down with a right hand, exhibiting a brief burst of grappling before finally unloading on Dillashaw with a vicious flurry of punishing ground and pound strikes, giving Cejudo a tie for the fifth-quickest knockout victory in a UFC title bout.

If Sandhagen lands just as little as one right hand to stun Dillashaw or knock him down, it could spell trouble for him, making his return a most inglorious evening.

Final Thoughts

The UFC Vegas 32 main event on Saturday night could deliver world-class competitive violence, so this one is going to be a fight that isn’t to be missed.

Prediction: Cory Sandhagen by Unanimous Decision.


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