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UFC Vegas 32: Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw Main Event Picks

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UFC Vegas 32: Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw Main Event Picks
Cory Sandhagen (left). Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has a jam-packed schedule and this Saturday we are getting what should be a very entertaining fight between Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw. Here’s a complete preview, including updated UFC odds and our betting pick.

Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw

Bantamweight Main Event Bout

Saturday, July 24, 2021 – 11:35 PM EDT at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas

In the main event of the evening, Islam Makhachev battles Thiago Moises. UFC Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. A limited number of fans will be in attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With plenty of betting lines and markets currently available, let’s attempt to find some value for our UFC picks on Saturday’s main event.

Cory Sandhagen. Top Picks for UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov
Cory Sandhagen. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Cory Sandhagen

Introduction, Background and UFC Career

Originally from Aurora, Colorado, Cory Sandhagen was very active growing up, playing basketball and other sports before discovering Mixed Martial Arts at age 17. Since then he picked up kickboxing, winning multiple World Kickboxing Association (WKA) titles and he’s been dedicated to becoming a better fighter.

His MMA journey began at Nate Marquardt’s gym in Aurora, he then studied Psychology at the University of Colorado and joined Easton Training Center. Sandhagen went 7-1 at different promotions before joining the UFC in 2018. He made his debut at UFC on FOX 27 on January 27th, 2018 with a second-round TKO win against Austin Arnett. Then, he beat Iuri Alcantara, Mario Bautista, John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao before Aljamain Sterling submitted him in the first round at UFC 250 on June 6th. Sandhagen got back on track by stopping Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar in 1:31 combined. In his last fight, he knocked out Edgar with an incredible flying knee in 28 seconds at UFC Vegas 18 on February 6th.

  • Born: April 20th, 1992
  • Age: 29
  • Country: United States
  • Height: 5’11″
  • Weight: 135 lbs
  • Reach: 70″
  • Stance: Switch
  • Association: Elevation Fight Team
  • Class: Bantamweight
  • Record: 14-2

Stats

Method of VictorySignificant StrikesTakedowns
6 wins by KO/TKO6.85 Landed50% Accuracy
3 wins by Submission3.89 Absorbed30% Defended
5 wins by Decision

Octagon Strengths

  • Multi-time World Kickboxing Association (WKA) champion
  • Exciting striker
  • Deep arsenal of tools
  • Superb scrambling ability

Octagon Weaknesses

  • His loss against Sterling is a red flag

TJ Dillashaw. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

TJ Dillashaw

Introduction, Background and UFC Career

TJ Dillashaw won the UFC bantamweight title on two separate occasions. First by stopping Renan Barao in the fifth round at UFC 173 on May 24th, 2014 in one of the biggest championship upsets in UFC history and then he knocked out Cody Garbrandt in the second round at UFC 217 on November 4th, 2017 to reclaim it. That second title reign ended unceremoniously because he tested positive for EPO in 2019 and accepted a two-year USADA sanction as a result.

Dillashaw maintains that his EPO usage was an isolated incident because he was struggling to cut weight down for his flyweight debut. It made no difference in his attempt to become a two-division champion as Henry Cejudo stopped him in 32 seconds at UFC Fight Night 143 on January 19th, 2019. While he's had an illustrious career and defended the bantamweight championship three times through two title runs, we can't help but wonder if we can expect the same fighter physically and mentally and if his EPO usage played a part in his vicious back-to-back knockouts against Cody Garbrandt or not.

  • Born: February 7th, 1986
  • Age: 35
  • Country: United States
  • Height: 5’6″
  • Weight: 135 lbs
  • Reach: 67″
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • Association: The Treigning Lab
  • Class: Bantamweight
  • Record: 16-4

Stats

Method of VictorySignificant StrikesTakedowns
8 wins by KO/TKO5.37 Landed37% Accuracy
3 wins by Submission3.03 Absorbed86% Defended
5 wins by Decision

Octagon Strengths

  • Former two-time UFC bantamweight champion
  • Has knockout power
  • Great cardio
  • Very good fight IQ

Octagon Weaknesses

  • His last fight was over 30 months ago

Prediction

TJ Dillashaw should look towards a wrestling-based game plan. He's an active striker, just like Sandhagen but he will have a considerable reach disadvantage and he is coming off a long layoff. Sandhagen is an elite striker with a diverse output and he's a nightmare matchup for Dillashaw. Cory Sandhagen learned from the mistake he made against Aljamain Sterling, he won't be laidback and his fluid footwork and plethora of strikes from all angles can be the difference.

UFC Pick: Cory Sandhagen by Points +240 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Cory Sandhagen by Points+240
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.