A handful of people lauded T.J. Dillashaw for fighting through a severely injured shoulder at UFC 280. The former champion went nearly two full rounds against reigning titleholder Aljamain Sterling before losing via TKO.
Cory Sandhagen, however, sees it differently. For the number five-ranked contender, it was a bit of a selfish move on Dillashaw’s part since the title shot should’ve been granted to someone more able-bodied.
“It wasn’t cool,” Sandhagen told MiddleEasy (transcript by MMA Fighting). “I think he didn’t handle that situation like a gentleman.
“I think that while you don’t have to care super deeply and compassionately about your opponents — because it’s hard to do that when you’re competing against them at the high level — I do think that you have to have some levels of compassion for the other people that are in your division.
“I think he showed a giant lack of compassion and caring about the other people in his division. That’s his way of living, I don’t really judge it too harshly, but I do think it was not that cool of a move.”
In early December, the 36-year-old Dillashaw retired from the sport as he continues to fully heal from the shoulder injury. The 30-year-old Sandhagen, meanwhile, will headline a UFC Vegas event against Marlon “Chito” Vera on February 18.
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