Cory Sandhagen: Training With TJ was Real Eye Opener

Training with TJ Dillishaw gave Cory Sandhagen the confidence to pursue a career in MMA.

Cory Sandhagen is one of the best young prospects in MMA. The featherweight is currently 5-0, and is getting ready to make his move into the UFC. Sandhagen credits a lot of his success to his time in the gym with UFC vet and former bantamweight champion TJ Dillishaw.

“Me and him didn’t really start at the same time, but me and him kind of have the same foot work, we bounce around a lot, we take angles. Me and him bounce a lot of ideas off of each other,” Sandhagen said. “He has helped me a lot with my wrestling game and mixing that in with the style that me and him have. My style is moving my feet, taking angles, not getting hit, kind of obvious shit that you want to do when you fight, but I kind of made whole style out of it.”

Sandhagen and Dillishaw now train together with the Elevation Fight Team, but prior to that Sandhagen would occasionally make the trip to Sacramento to train with him at Team Alpah male. Sandhagen admits people have often told him he had all the tools to be great, but it was training with TJ that really made him believe in himself and his abilities.

“When I started training with TJ that was my real eye opener,” Sandhagen said. “I always had people telling me I could be really great… I always knew I had everything, but TJ was fighting for the belt and I was able to go train with him and when me and him would go train together it became like ‘holy shit Cory you can actaully hang with these dudes, you are not only hanging, but you’re competing and doing really well against some of the best guys in the world’ TJ was the one that kind of really opened my eyes to that, so that was a huge thing for me. Especially giving me a lot of confidence.”

“Me and TJ are really good friends,” Sandhagen continued. “Me and him are the two that get the most competitive in the gym and it is good to have a high level guy like that. I have to focus, there is a lot of pressure on me to do well against this guy. He has been a huge asset to my success I would say.”

Sandhagen will compete this Friday against Jamal Emmers at LFA 5 in Colorado. You can catch the event on and if you live in Canada the fights will be aired on The Fight Network at 9 P.M.


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