The UFC return of TJ Dillashaw (16-4) is going to take a little longer. The former bantamweight champion took to Instagram tonight to announce that he suffered a bad cut during training and his main event against Cory Sandhagen is off (14-2).
The fight was scheduled to headline the UFC‘s Fight Night on May 8th. Dillashaw said in the post that they are working on rebooking the fight as soon as possible. It’s likely we will see the fight in either late May or early June depending on how the cut heals.
This fight had extreme importance in the UFC‘s bantamweight division. This was being looked at as a title eliminator and it still likely will be. Originally, the UFC was planning on having the winner of this fight face the winner of the Petr Yan – Aljamain Sterling fight.
However, after Sterling won by DQ, things took at turn. The promotion started working on the rematch, but Sterling opted for neck surgery which will keep him out of action until near the end of the year.
The UFC was supposedly kicking the tires on having Dillashaw or Sandhagen fight Yan for an interim title depending on how Sterling was recovering. Ultimately, that might still happen, but a lot will depend on Dillashaw’s recovery.
TJ Dillashaw v Cory Sandhagen is off.
I’m told Michelle Waterson x Marina Rodriguez is the frontrunner to replace it as the new 5/8 main. https://t.co/XUI8RE072G
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 28, 2021
New UFC main event
With Dillashaw out of the fight, the UFC has shifted their attention to a new headliner. According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the front runner for the new headlining fight is Michelle Waterson (18-8) – Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2).
Waterson last fought in September in a main event against Angela Hill. That night, those two stole the show and Waterson walked away with a split decision victory.
We last saw Marina Rodriguez at UFC 257 when she took on Amanda Ribas. Ribas had a ton of momentum heading into that fight, but Rodriguez stopped it all with a TKO in the second round. This should be a fantastic matchup and a very important one for the strawweight division.