T.J. Dillashaw’s long-awaited Octagon will have to wait, as a cut suffered in training has forced him to withdraw from a UFC on ESPN 24 headlining bout against Cory Sandhagen.
Dillashaw confirmed his exit on social media following an intial report on Twitter from C. Contreras Legaspi. Dillashaw vs. Sandhagen is expected to be booked at a later date.
“I’m sad to say that I have to be pulled from my fight on May 8 due to a cut received from a headbutt while drilling,” Dillashaw wrote. “Rescheduling the fight as soon as possible.”
According to a report from ESPN, the promotion is targeting a strawweight clash between Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez for the new UFC on ESPN 24 headliner. That booking has not been finalized, however.
Dillashaw has been sidelined since January 2019 after serving a two-year USADA suspension for a positive EPO test. The former bantamweight champion last appeared at UFC Fight Night 143, where his bid to capture flyweight gold was derailed in a 32-second TKO loss to Henry Cejudo.
Sandhagen has emerged as one of the division’s top contenders with victories in seven of his first eight Octagon appearances. The Elevation Fight Team representative has authored spectacular knockouts in his last two outings against Marlon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 179 and against Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 184.
UFC on ESPN 24 takes place on May 8 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and will see Donald Cerrone square off against Diego Sanchez at 170 pounds, while Geoff Neal meets Neil Magny in another welterweight duel.