After a two year suspension as a result of testing positive for EPO, former two-time UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw is making his return to the octagon against no. 2 ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen.
The former training partners will square off Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 32 after they were previously scheduled to fight May 8. The fight was postponed after Dillashaw pulled out with a laceration.
Ahead of making his return, Dillashaw will likely be facing criticism from a portion of fans for his past use of performance enhancing substances.
At UFC Vegas 32 media day, he was asked about whether or not he values his reputation being built back up.
“Excuse my language, but f–k your reputation. You know what I mean? You gotta worry about yourself,” Dillashaw said. “I have a great life. I have a great family. I’m just worried about my coaches, my teammates, my family. Other than that I could care less.
“I’ve been in this game too long to want to scroll through the comments and think what other people fucking think that are sitting behind their computers and not having anything to achieve for.”
Looking toward the fight, Dillashaw said Sandhagen is the same guy he was when they trained with one another.
“He’s still the same fighter. He’s still the same guy,” Dillashaw said. “He’s still the same guy I trained with and I know that I can come out there and put a beating on him. So I’m excited for Saturday.”
While much of the conversation surrounding Dillashaw’s return to the sport is predicated on his past mistakes, it would be remiss to neglect the allure of this highly anticipated matchup between these high-level bantamweights and former training partners.