T.J. Dillashaw is not going to forget his fight with Cory Sandhagen at UFC Vegas 32 on Saturday night anytime soon. Why? You may ask. Well, there are plenty of good answers to that question.
You would not be wrong if you said it is because of his gritty performance after more than two years away from the Octagon. Or if you said it is because he may have earned himself a title shot after beating the No. 2 ranked bantamweight contender. Those are definitely good answers, however, the right answer is because of the gruesome cut he suffered in the second round of the fight.
Dillashaw saw the corner of his right eyebrow sliced up after being hit with a left hand from Sandhagen. The cut immediately opened up and started pouring out blood, so referee Herb Dean paused the action for the cageside doctor to come in and examine it. It was in a bad spot and bled directly into the eye of Dillashaw, who may have been on the verge of having the fight stopped.
Dr. David Abbasi — the orthopedic sports surgeon and ringside physician known for his injury breakdowns — explained that the cut was in a concerning region that affected the vision of Dillashaw. It also could have extended into his eye socket, which is obviously not great.
Fortunately, that did not happen and Dillashaw was given the green light to continue fighting. Despite the best efforts of the cutman, the cut kept opening up throughout the remaining rounds and Dillashaw was forced to fight on with impaired vision.
Dillashaw was able to push through all of the blood and earned not only a split decision win over Sandhagen, but also a few stitches to repair the cut. Before the former two-time champion was stitched up though, we were treated to a close-up photo of what Dillashaw looked like moments after the fight, courtesy of his manager Tiki Ghosn (via Damon Martin of MMA Fighting).
If you wanted to see just how bad the cut was minus the pesky plasma, then here is your chance.
Warning: The photo below is graphic. Please proceed with caution.
Not for the squeamish but here’s a closer look at the cut on TJ Dillashaw’s face per his manager Tiki Ghosn on Instagram #UFCVegas32 pic.twitter.com/hnXCI1KAsk
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) July 25, 2021
Surprisingly, Dillashaw was not as freaked out over the cut as the rest of us were. He told Daniel Cormier during his post-fight interview that it was essentially the same one that he suffered during training camp. If you recall, Dillashaw and Sandhagen was pushed back a few weeks from its original date after the former was headbutted in training by a sparring partner. The cut from the headbutt also required stitches, but Dillashaw was good to go in about a month.
“It’s the same cut that opened up twice before the last camp, so it was vulnerable and he hit me with a good shot,” said Dillashaw.
Because Dillashaw has dealt with this type of injury before, the recovery process should be straightforward. He has already spoken about wanting to fight the winner of the rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan, so hopefully the cut heals quickly enough for him to be ready for that opportunity.
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