He overcame Rob Font in a match dominated by wrestling last Saturday, extending his winning streak to three consecutive victories. The match, marked by the fourth-lowest significant strikes in a 25-minute bout in UFC’s modern history, was met with disappointment by fans in Nashville. However, Sandhagen had a solid reason for this style of play: a complete tricep tear suffered early in the fight, for which he’s already scheduled for surgery.
During Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Sandhagen considered his difficult circumstance, balancing his desire to be entertaining with the need to play it safe due to his injury. He used a basketball analogy to explain his strategy, comparing it to shooting threes against Shaquille O’Neal rather than trying to post up.
Originally meant to face Umar Nurmagomedov, Sandhagen ended up fighting Font after Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal due to an injury. Despite his own elbow issues, Sandhagen chose to honor his commitment and compete.
Sandhagen’s victory keeps him among the top contenders in the UFC bantamweight division, and he hopes that this particular fight won’t affect his status in the title hunt. He’s already spoken with UFC President Dana White about the match, and the response was supportive and understanding.
Emphasizing his recent wins over fighters like Song Yadong, Marlon Vera, and Rob Font, Sandhagen argued that he has earned the next title shot. He also brushed off reports about Dana White leaving his seat during the fourth round, attributing it to White’s busy schedule rather than dissatisfaction with the fight.
Recovery from surgery is expected to keep Sandhagen out of action for about six months, during which the bantamweight landscape could change dramatically. Aljamain Sterling, the current champion, will defend his title against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 and may move up a weight class, potentially leaving the title vacant.
Henry Cejudo, one of the top contenders, thanked Sandhagen for his lackluster performance at UFC Nashville, suggesting it ensured his chance at the next title shot. Sandhagen, however, dismisses these claims, stating that he’s the deserving next contender, regardless of Cejudo’s opinions. He anticipates returning to fight for the title and remains focused on his path despite the critics.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cory Sandhagen
Who did Cory Sandhagen defeat at UFC Nashville?
Cory Sandhagen defeated Rob Font in a wrestling-dominated one-sided contest at UFC Nashville.
What injury did Sandhagen sustain during the fight?
He suffered a fully torn tricep early in the opening round.
What was Dana White’s reaction to Sandhagen’s performance?
Dana White was supportive and understanding of Sandhagen’s performance, telling him to heal up and that he was fine with the way the fight played out.
Who was Sandhagen originally scheduled to fight before Font stepped in?
He was originally set to face Umar Nurmagomedov, who withdrew due to a shoulder injury.
What are Sandhagen’s expectations for his standing in the bantamweight division?
Sandhagen remains one of the top contenders in the UFC bantamweight division and is hopeful that his performance in Nashville won’t affect his chance for a title shot.
How long is Sandhagen expected to be sidelined after surgery?
He expects to be sidelined for at least six months after surgery.
What did Henry Cejudo say after Sandhagen’s performance at UFC Nashville?
Henry Cejudo thanked Sandhagen for the unexciting performance and claimed that it all but ensured he would be the one fighting for the next shot at the bantamweight title. However, Sandhagen disagrees with Cejudo’s assessment.