T.J. Dillashaw will have to wait a little longer to set foot in the Octagon again.

The Californian was due to face rising UFC bantamweight star Cory Sandhagen at UFC on ESPN 24 on 8 May. However, he has been forced to withdraw from the bout after sustaining a gash over his right eye due to a clash of heads in training camp.

Instead, UFC on ESPN 24 is reportedly going to feature a women’s strawweight scrap between Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.

“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 on his Instagram post. “Rescheduling the fight as soon as possible.”


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Dillashaw hasn’t fought since his losing effort for the UFC flyweight title against Henry Cejudo in January, 2019.

The former two-time UFC bantamweight champion served a two-year USADA suspension after testing positive for EPO following that bid to become a two-division UFC champion.

While Dillashaw has been sidelined, Sandhagen has risen to prominence in the 135-pound weight class.

A former sparring partner of Dillashaw’s, Sandhagen has racked up big wins over former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and ex-title challenger Marlon Moraes, both in spectacular fashion.

Sandhagen has posted seven wins from eight fights during his UFC tenure since 2018, his sole loss coming by submission to current UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling.