Former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw earned a split-decision victory over Cory Sandhagen in a bantamweight matchup at UFC Vegas 32 on Saturday night in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex arena.
Dillashaw (18-4-0) had two takedowns of Sandhagen (14-3-0), who didn't have any, in a tightly contested match. Dillashaw got a cut under his right eye, but despite a two-year layoff for a doping violation, he toughed it out and won.
Total strikes went to Sandhagen, 171-169, and Sandhagen also landed more significant strikes, 128-110, with 86 percent to Dillashaw's head, whereas Dillashaw worked up and down, with 54 percent significant strikes to the head and 37 percent to the legs.
"I wasn't worried about the naysayers," Dillashaw said on ESPN after the fight. "I knew I was going to get this victory. Very tough fight. To me, this was the title fight.
"Cory Sandhagen is legit. I've trained with him. I knew he was that good before he knew he was that good."
Raulian Paiva (21-3-0) of Brazil won the co-main bantamweight event with a majority decision over Kyler Phillips (9-2-0). Paiva has a three-fight winning streak after starting his UFC career 0-2.
Down the card, Darren Elkins (27-9-0) scored a technical knockout of Darrick Minner (26-12-0) in a featherweight fight.
In women's flyweight action, 23-year-old Maycee Barber moved to 9-2-0 and broke a two-match losing streak with a split-decision win over 24-year-old Miranda Maverick (11-3-0) thanks to a third-round flurry that tilted the fight in her favor.
In another bantamweight bout, Adrian Yanez (14-3-0) dismantled Randy Costa (6-2-0) with a second-round TKO.
--Field Level Media