Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw admitted that he lied to the referee during the recent Cory Sandhagen bout.
Dillashaw and Sandhagen fought for 25 minutes to a narrow split decision back in July that the judges ultimately gave to the former champ. Speaking to Submission Radio following the fight, Dillashaw admitted there was a chance that the fight could have been stopped because he had an injury to his eye that meant he had vision problems. According to Sandhagen, however, he lied to the referee and told him that he could still see fine.
“I guess camp kinda prepared me to be able to deal with injuries in the fight, I guess. Because I had to kinda bury my injuries down deep during fight camp, and I had to definitely do it during the fight. And then let alone getting open in the second round, my eye, having to lie to the ref and tell him I can see, I just didn’t want the fight to get stopped,” Dillashaw said (via MMANews).
“The doctor came in, I was like, ‘Yeah, man, I got it. Don’t worry. I can see.’ And at the time, I couldn’t, so walking out I was sure to take his wipey and I tried to wipe my eye even more and they told me I wasn’t able to do that, so just kinda had to tough it out, really, to be honest.”
The win over Sandhagen puts Dillashaw in the upper echelon of the UFC bantamweight division. He is currently healing up following the war with Sandhagen, but when Dillashaw returns to the Octagon, he could fight either the winner of UFC 267’s Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan or potentially face fellow former UFC champ, Jose Aldo, in a No. 1 contender bout.