Monday, November 28, 2022

Sandhagen Believes He Was One Mistake Away From Beating Petr Yan

Cory Sandhagen believes that one singular mistake in his fight against Petr Yan turned the tides and stopped him from becoming an interim UFC bantamweight champion.

When looking back on his title fight from October, Sandhagen feels that being knocked down in the third round is what caused him to lose the fight. The ranked bantamweight says he was doing well before that moment and that the knockdown caused him to fight differently for the championship rounds.

“I thought I fought really well. I’m not one to make excuses. I really would’ve liked some more time because Yan is one of the best guys in the world, so I would’ve definitely preferred to have some more time,” said Sandhagen on last week’s episode of The MMA Hour. “But no, man, I thought that the fight went really good for me. I think that [in round] one, I was doing well. Two, I was doing well, even though the judges gave it to him.

“I still think that probably in Colorado, I would’ve taken [round] two. Round three, I was doing good all the way up until that last minute when I got dropped in that one, and then kind of had to fight the rest of the fight on wobbly legs a little bit. So I think I was just one mistake away from taking that fight. And all the credit to Yan for knocking me down and hurting me, and making it so that I couldn’t fight the same for the rest of the fight.” (h/t MMA Fighting)

Sandhagen Gives Yan Credit For Fighting Style

Petr Yan Cory Sandhagen
Photo via Instagram @espnmma

Sandhagen acknowledges that part of the equation is Yan’s fighting style. He is aware of Yan’s notorious slow-starting yet strong-finishing approach to five-round fights. However, he stands by his belief that he would have won the fight if not for the knockdown.

“That’s kind of his style, right? We anticipated that. He doesn’t start the fastest. He started a little bit quicker than I think he normally does, with me. But yeah, in [rounds] two and three, he just picked up the pace a little bit, and that’s kind of how he fights. And in four, he kicked my ass in Round four. But like I said, man, I was kind of on stilts from getting dropped. I have a really good chin, so if you drop me, you must’ve hit me really hard, and that’s not going to be something that isn’t going to play a factor into the rest of the fight. So I made that mistake, man, and I paid for it. So that’s how the sport works.”

Do you believe the third-round knockdown in the Sandhagen/Yan bout is what determined the outcome of the fight?