Cory Sandhagen Talks Wanting To Stay Active
The first interview in our weekly interview round-up has James Lynch sitting down with #4 ranked bantamweight contender Cory Sandgen. Sandhagen returns to the octagon next week as one half of our main event.
Across from the Sandman will be surging bantamweight contender, Song Yadong. This highly anticipated matchup returns to the Apex, as do the following two weeks, before the promotion travels to Abu Dhabi for UFC 280.
The bantamweight division remains one of the most stacked in the UFC, and we’ve had some killer bouts recently. Given Sandhagen’s recent strength of schedule, many were critical of the #4 ranked contender being matched up against #10. However, this doesn’t seem to have phased the interim-title challenger.
“At this point, especially because all the guys who are higher up in the rankings are already matched up. When they’re trying to put fights together, everyone was taken. [Laughs]. It was either that or wait. I didn’t really want to wait, so now we’re fighting Song.”
At the time the match was booked, the bantamweight schedule looked like this:
- Aljamain Sterling (C) vs. TJ Dillashaw (#2)
- José Aldo (#3) vs. Merab Dvalsivili (#6)
- Cory Sandhagen (#4) vs. Song Yadong (#10)
- Marlon Vera (#5) vs. Dominick Cruz (#8)
- Petr Yan (#1) vs. Sean O’Malley (#13)
Sandhagen On Getting Another Fight This Year
Now that Dvalishvili has moved to #3, and Marlon Vera defeating Dominick Cruz, we could be seeing some awesome matchmaking later this year. Sandhagen told James on fighting again this year:
“That would be ideal. I don’t know how likely that is because I’m in a much smaller pool of guys… I’m not going to fight down again, I think. Unless it’s against someone who’s really close. I just want to get back in the winner’s circle. I doubt that one of those guys is going to want to fight again by the end of the year. Like a Yan, O’Malley, TJ, or Sterling. I got that they don’t want to fight again by the end of the year.
“There’s also Merab and Chito, I don’t know. They’re probably waiting to see what happens in me and Song’s fight to see if they’re going to pair us up. I do think potentially I could fight by the end of the year, but if I do it’s likely going to be against Chito or Merab. I’d be game for now actually now that we’re talking it through. I don’t think about it before the fights too much. A fight with one of those guys by the end of the year would be cool.”
Donovan Beard On Facing Bo Nickal On DWCS
Ahead of his September 27th Contender Series bout against wrestling phenom, Bo Nickal, Donovan Beard sat down with our very own Curtis Calhoun. The 7-1 Cage Fury middleweight champion has won four of his bouts by submission, and should prove a good test for Nickal. He tells Curtis that he asked for the fight specifically after being encouraged by a training partner.
“I called my agent like “Hey, can we fight that dude…” A week or two later, I got a missed call, and then I looked at my text messages, and he told me the fight is getting finalized… I almost jumped off the screen… Every time I talk about it I just get excited… I’m like, it’s for real, we’re going to do it. I’m excited man, to showcase my skills on a platform like that to show the masses what I’m really capable of.”