UFC on ESPN 27 Results: TJ Dillashaw Beats Cory Sandhagen via Decision in Main Event

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 25, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 24: (L-R) T.J. Dillashaw punches Corey Sandhagen in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 24, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

TJ Dillashaw's 30-month hiatus away from the Octagon ended Saturday evening with a split-decision win over Cory Sandhagen to cap UFC on ESPN 27 from UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

The former UFC bantamweight champion, who was suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for EPO use, moved to 17-4 for his career. The 35-year-old has won nine of his last 11 matches.

The main card also included the fight of the night in Raulian Paiva's majority-decision win over Kyler Phillips and the performance of the night in Adrian Yanez's second-round TKO over Randy Costa.

Here's a look at results from all 11 fights alongside highlights and notes from the main card.

UFC on ESPN 27 Results

Main Card

TJ Dillashaw def. Cory Sandhagen by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

Raulian Paiva def. Kyler Phillips by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

Darren Elkins def. Darrick Minner by second-round TKO at 3:48 (punches)

Maycee Barber def. Miranda Maverick by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Adrian Yanez def. Randy Costa by second-round TKO at 2:11 (punches)

Preliminary Card

Brendan Allen def. Punahele Soriano by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Nassourdine Imavov def. Ian Heinisch by second-round TKO at 3:09 (punches)

Mickey Gall def. Jordan Williams by first-round submission at 2:57 (rear-naked choke)

Julio Arce def. Andre Ewell by second-round TKO at 3:45 (punches)

Sijara Eubanks def. Elise Reed by first-round TKO at 3:49 (punches)

Diana Belbita def. Hannah Goldy by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Main Card Highlights

TJ Dillashaw vs. Cory Sandhagen

An action-packed five-round bantamweight fight capped the evening in Vegas, although Sandhagen looked to end this one early with a flying knee:

UFC @ufc

Sandman going for another flying knee finish! 😳 <br><br>[ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> | We're LIVE on <a href="https://twitter.com/espn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPN</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNPlus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPNPlus</a> ] <a href="https://t.co/QkpY0CUFte">pic.twitter.com/QkpY0CUFte</a>

The action continued in Round 2, with both men trading blows:

UFC @ufc

The Sandman finding his rhythm ⚡️ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> <a href="https://t.co/CYRLeJ8SB3">pic.twitter.com/CYRLeJ8SB3</a>

Sandhagen connected on a backfist near the end of Round 4, but Dillashaw hung tough:

UFC @ufc

SHEESH, this main event continues to deliver 💥 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> <a href="https://t.co/v4TJDW3yrh">pic.twitter.com/v4TJDW3yrh</a>

The final round featured 78 significant strikes, per UFC Stats.

In the end, Dillashaw eked out the sensational victory to begin his UFC comeback.

Sandhagen, who won nine of his last 10 fights before Saturday, is now 14-3 lifetime.

Raulian Paiva vs. Kyler Phillips

In the co-main event, Paiva survived a vicious beating from Phillips near the end of Round 1 and somehow hung around to win this bantamweight fight:

UFC @ufc

The Matrix letting it all go in Round 1️⃣<br><br>[ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> | LIVE on <a href="https://twitter.com/espn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPN</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNPlus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPNPlus</a> ] <a href="https://t.co/rQUhQOY4Lx">pic.twitter.com/rQUhQOY4Lx</a>

Per UFC Stats, Phillips landed 45 significant strikes in Round 1 compared to Paiva's 13.

Paiva turned the tide in Round 2, though, closing that stretch strong with a few big punches:

UFC @ufc

Shifting momentum 😱<br><br>[ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> | LIVE on <a href="https://twitter.com/espn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPN</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNPlus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPNPlus</a> ] <a href="https://t.co/0Vr2AtolzP">pic.twitter.com/0Vr2AtolzP</a>

The fight went to the judges, who ruled in favor of Paiva en route to his third straight win:

UFC @ufc

Make that 3️⃣ in a row for <a href="https://twitter.com/raulianpaivamma?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RaulianPaivaMMA</a> 🇧🇷<br><br>[ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> ] <a href="https://t.co/pZ4vjD6N3e">pic.twitter.com/pZ4vjD6N3e</a>

Paiva is now 21-3 lifetime. Phillips is 9-2.

Darren Elkins vs. Darrick Minner

Darrick Minner nearly won his featherweight fight within the first few minutes after locking in an armbar on Darren Elkins, but the eventual winner escaped from the hold:

UFC @ufc

HOW'D HE DO THAT?! 🤯 <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenElkinsMMA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DarrenElkinsMMA</a> is an escape artist. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> <a href="https://t.co/yHJyh13fas">pic.twitter.com/yHJyh13fas</a>

Minner landed 19 significant strikes in that round compared to just four for Elkins, but the momentum completely shifted in Round 2.

Once there, Elkins landed 16 significant strikes to none for Minner. The end of the fight saw Elkins winning this one thanks to some vicious ground-and-pound:

UFC @ufc

𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑫𝑨𝑴𝑨𝑮𝑬 does it again! 😤 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> <a href="https://t.co/YayQyATi3w">pic.twitter.com/YayQyATi3w</a>

Elkins, who netted a $50,000 bonus for the performance of the night, is now 26-9. Minner fell to 26-12.

Maycee Barber vs. Miranda Maverick

Maycee Barber defeated Miranda Maverick by split decision in this flyweight bout, but this result was not without controversy.

Maverick had 82 total strikes (47 significant) compared to Barber's 38 total strikes (36 significant). She was also notably the victor on the global scorecard, via Verdict MMA:

Verdict @VerdictMMA

Miranda Maverick defeated Maycee Barber on the Global Scorecard.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> <a href="https://t.co/4nC4CFVHiN">pic.twitter.com/4nC4CFVHiN</a>

Numerous analysts questioned the scorecards too:

Adam Martin @MMAdamMartin

OMG.... these judges are absolute trash. Miranda Maverick just got robbed, she won the first two rounds clearly. Unreal. Horrible decision. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a>

Eddie Teach @TheEddieMercado

Miranda Maverick was robbed. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> results: Barber takes questionable decision over Maverick, Yanez rallies to stop Costa <a href="https://t.co/5peZ1P7o9w">https://t.co/5peZ1P7o9w</a>

James Lynch @LynchOnSports

Woah. I thought Miranda Maverick clearly won 29-28 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a>

In the end, Barber was declared the winner:

UFC @ufc

The future is still bright for <a href="https://twitter.com/MayceeBarber?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MayceeBarber</a> ⭐️<br><br>[ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> | LIVE on <a href="https://twitter.com/espn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPN</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNPlus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPNPlus</a> ] <a href="https://t.co/gTUV9hi4pE">pic.twitter.com/gTUV9hi4pE</a>

 Barber moved to 9-2 as a professional. Maverick is now 9-3.

Adrian Yanez vs. Randy Costa

Yanez's UFC career now consists of three knockout wins and three performances of the night awards.

His latest victory was a second-round TKO over Costa thanks to this flurry of punches to cap this bantamweight brawl:

UFC @ufc

THERE IT IS 🗣<br><br>👊 <a href="https://twitter.com/yanezmma?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@YanezMMA</a> is the real deal. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a> <a href="https://t.co/KWgjgoIBrG">pic.twitter.com/KWgjgoIBrG</a>

Yanez is now 14-3 lifetime with seven straight professional wins overall, but it didn't look like he'd get that win after taking a beating initially. Costa landed 57 significant strikes in Round 1 alone, but Yanez somehow survived.

Tanner Boser @BulldozerBoser

Well that was nuts from start to finish. File Yanez under the “Diamond Chin” category I guess. Crazy comeback. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFCVegas32?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFCVegas32</a>

Paul Felder @felderpaul

Omg <a href="https://twitter.com/yanezmma?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@yanezmma</a> way to stay strong and come back. Sick fight

Costa fell to 6-2, ending a two-match win streak.