At a UFC on ESPN 27 post-fight news conference Saturday, Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) described the knee injury he suffered in the opening round of his five-round split decision win over Sandhagen (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and how it impacted his performance.
“Unfortunately, after that first round, I couldn’t lift,” Dillashaw said. “I took his back quite a few times and I’m really good from that clinch position on the back, but I couldn’t throw my legs back and I couldn’t lift. (I was) hanging out using those knees as best I could while he was hand fighting. It was a little unfortunate. I tried doing a couple of scissor-trips. I tried lifting in that second round when I had his back, but my knee just wasn’t having it.”
Unsure if his knee will require surgery, Dillashaw indicated it’s not the only wound he’ll aim to heal. In the lead-up to UFC on ESPN 27, Dillashaw revealed he’s nursing countless ailments – including a cut that was reopened in Round 2 of Saturday’s fight.
“I had a really, really, really rough camp,” Dillashaw said. “I couldn’t even spar this whole camp. The first camp going, we were supposed to go May 8. It went smooth other than getting cut. I was able to spar. My cut was going good. The second camp around, I could not stay healthy. The first injury was that I pinched this nerve in my foot doing a slider board. Up until two days ago, I had to work out with shoes on. This is like the worst thing I could’ve been dealing with.
“I tore my MCL in my right knee. I hurt my left shoulder, as well, the whole camp. It was a real rough camp. I didn’t want to obviously talk about it. I didn’t want to make (any) excuses. I just needed to get out there. It had been two f-ing long. There was no way I was going to pull out from the fight.”
Was there a thought in pulling out of the fight for a second time? If not of his own volition, did anyone around him advise he do so?
“No,” Dillashaw said. “They know how bad I wanted it. There was no way I was pulling out. I could’ve walked out with one foot. I wouldn’t care.”
UFC on ESPN 27 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex and aired on ESPN.
Check out Dillashaw’s full UFC on ESPN 27 post-fight interview above.