Despite the crowd’s vocal disapproval following his decisive 50-45 win over Font in Saturday’s main event, Sandhagen stood by his tactics against Font, who was a last-minute replacement for the injured Nurmagomedov.
“I appreciate the crowd,” he expressed during the UFC Nashville post-match show. “I always strive to provide a good show. To me, this represents the true spirit of martial arts. … I understand the audience craves action and blood. That’s the nature of the sport. I’ve offered them plenty of that before. But tonight, this was the way I needed to secure my victory.”
A persistent tricep injury that Sandhagen further aggravated during the first round compelled him even more towards wrestling. At one point during his training, he had considered withdrawing, but he ultimately took the risk and pulled through.
“It’s rather ironic,” he stated in the post-match press conference. “The crowd was displeased, but my style today was a testament to my commitment to them.”
UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, who was amongst the crowd, appeared to be more critical of Font’s tactics than Sandhagen’s approach.
“I respect Aljamain,” Sandhagen stated during the post-show. “I hope he doesn’t leave the division undefeated. I yearn for a rematch against Aljamain.
“I believe I’ve earned the next title shot. I’ve secured three consecutive victories against some formidable opponents. … That’s the way it’s done.”
Sandhagen acknowledged that his performance may not have been crowd-pleasing. However, he emphasizes the larger picture when evaluating the gains and losses of his strategic approach.
“It might not have been the most thrilling win for the spectators, but I managed to 45-50 the No. 7 contender in the world,” he reflected. “Prior to that, I arguably scored 45-50 against another opponent, barring one misguided judge’s decision. Before that, I defeated Song Yadong by causing a severe cut. I’m on track to become one of the greatest MMA fighters. I aim to outwrestle the strikers and outstrike the wrestlers. That’s my journey. I am dedicated to being the best in the world, and I demonstrated tonight that if you expect only a striking contest, you’re mistaken – we’ll be wrestling.”
If Sandhagen has any go-to tactic in the octagon, it isn’t a fixed style, but rather the strategy that is most likely to secure him a victory and affirm his abilities as a martial artist. Whether it’s Sterling or O’Malley next, he’ll customize his plan to ensure a win.
“My mindset revolves around identifying my weak spots and addressing them, understanding how opponents can defeat me, and fixing those vulnerabilities. That’s how I plan to become the best MMA fighter in the world,” he concluded.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Martial Arts Approach
What was Cory Sandhagen’s strategy at UFC Nashville?
Cory Sandhagen’s strategy at UFC Nashville was focused on wrestling, which he employed against Rob Font, a short-notice replacement for Umar Nurmagomedov. Despite crowd booing, Sandhagen justified his approach, emphasizing its effectiveness in securing a 50-45 victory.
Why did Sandhagen choose a wrestling-heavy approach?
Sandhagen opted for a wrestling-heavy approach due to Rob Font’s long reach and powerful striking. Additionally, Sandhagen aggravated a pre-existing tricep injury during the fight, making wrestling a more viable option for victory.
How did Sandhagen feel about the crowd’s reaction?
Although the crowd was displeased with his wrestling-heavy performance, Sandhagen stated that he loves the audience and aims to provide an entertaining show. However, he believed that winning in the way he did against a tough opponent justified his tactical approach.
What are Sandhagen’s future plans in the bantamweight division?
Sandhagen hopes to secure a rematch with Aljamain Sterling, the UFC bantamweight champion, before considering other options. He believes that his recent impressive victories make him deserving of a title shot.
What does Sandhagen aim to achieve in his MMA career?
Cory Sandhagen’s ultimate goal is to become one of the best mixed martial artists in the world. He seeks to outwrestle strikers and outstrike wrestlers to solidify his position as a top contender in the sport.
More about Martial Arts Approach
- “Cory Sandhagen reflects on his UFC Nashville performance” (MMA Fighting)
- “UFC Nashville: Cory Sandhagen vs. Rob Font recap” (ESPN)
- “Cory Sandhagen’s post-fight press conference comments” (The Body Lock)
- “UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling’s reaction to UFC Nashville main event” (BJPenn.com)
- “Cory Sandhagen’s MMA record and recent victories” (Sherdog)