TJ Dillashaw wants to prove he's 'best in the world' by beating Cory Sandhagen

TJ Dillashaw addresses USADA suspension

TJ Dillashaw is confident victory over Cory Sandhagen will catapult him to the front of the queue of those lining up to face the winner of Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan

Dillashaw, 35, will return to the Octagon for the first time since coming up short in his bid to unseat Henry Cejudo in January 2019. 

The American UFC fighter has served a lengthy suspension after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Erythropoietin (EPO) in his title fight against 'Triple C' at Barclays Center in New York. 

On the latest episode of 'Food Truck Diaries', Dillashaw spoke candidly about his two-year suspension and revealed the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) put him 'under a microscope' by retesting all of his previous samples. 

He told Brendan Schaub: “People can go say whatever they want, and more power to them, that’s the decision I made, but USADA actually put me under a microscope after I got in trouble, man.

“They went back to all my fights that they ever collected my samples and retested all of them all the way back to my [Raphael] Assuncao fight after [Dominick] Cruz because they keep an A and B sample every time you get tested.”

“No matter what, it’s going to be like that. I made the mistake. That’s like USADA’s weapon to use against you, to really slander you so no one else wants to do this s---. Those questions are valid because I f----- up, I made the decision. But me being able to live with that, me owning up to it has made it f------ easy.”

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But Dillashaw insists he's a changed man and he plans on making an example of Sandhagen to prove he's still one of the best in the world at 135 pounds. 

“If I thought I got somewhere because of PEDs, I wouldn’t be calling out Cory Sandhagen,” he added. “I wouldn’t be asking for someone in the top five. I wouldn’t let it be known that I’m getting my belt back. I’m going to be a f------ animal when I get back in the cage.

“They tried to offer me fights that weren’t top five, and I said no. I want someone top five. Dude, I’m coming back. I’m 35 years old. I want my belt back. I never lost it.

"I’m here to prove a point that I’m the best in the world, and what better way to do it then get back right to the top? Cory Sandhagen is a great opponent. I trained a ton with him. He’s a great athlete, but it’s a great fight for me.

"Him being No. 1 contender, it’s a great fight for me to win, come back, prove my worth and get my belt back as soon as Aljamain and Yan figure out their deal.”

TJ Dillashaw

And, while the streaking Colorado native represents one of his biggest challenges to date, the former UFC bantamweight champion is confident he will come out on top in a clash of two top 135-pound contenders. 

He continued: “Wrestling is a big factor in this, not only the fact that I can outwrestle him, but that I can take the fight wherever.

"He’s got to respect that. You don’t respect it, he’s going to end up on his back. He starts disrespecting my wrestling, I’m going to put him on his back from knocking him out, as well.”

"Yeah the wrestling plays a factor, but it plays a factor in that I can take it anywhere, and I have the utmost confidence in me out striking Cory, as well, because of the wrestling."

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