Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sandhagen Names “Obvious” UFC Christmas Gift After Yadong Win

Cory Sandhagen will be asking Santa for a matchup with one of two top-five bantamweights this Christmas.

At UFC Vegas 60 this evening, Sandhagen snapped a two-fight losing streak by securing a doctor-stoppage TKO victory over surging prospect Song Yadong. Sandhagen was rattled by a Yadong power strike in round two but responded with a slicing elbow that opened up a gaping cut above Yadong’s left eye.

Yadong’s weeping wound soon became the story of the fight, and so deep and gnarly did it become that at the end of the fourth round, the ringside physician called an end to the fight. Going into the fifth, two judges had it even on the scorecards.

(UFC Vegas 60)

All Sandhagen Wants For Christmas Is A Top-5 Matchup

Sandhagen has in his last two fights lost to T.J Dillashaw and Petr Yan. At UFC 280 in October, Dillashaw will face champ Aljamain Sterling, and Yan will take on Sean O’Malley. This leaves just two names in the bantamweight top five for Sandhagen to take on.

At the UFC Vegas post-fight press conference, Sandhagen said that while he doesn’t really have a preferred next opponent, he wouldn’t mind if he found his stocking stuffed with one of two top-five matchups this Christmas.

“No, not really,” said Sandhagen when asked if he had a preferred matchup in mind. “I think as like a martial artist I try not to have many opinions about anything, you know? I live in a way that I more or less try to go with the flow in life; give me opportunities and me take them, so…Chito [Marlon Vera] and Merab [Dvalishvili] are the obvious names…both of them pose very different challenges…two completely opposite fighters almost, so, I don’t really care, man, give me one of them for Christmas.”

A matchup with either fighter would surely not only bring Christmas cheer to Sandhagen, but fans too. Vera is on a four-fight win streak, having most recently knocked out Dominick Cruz. While Dvalishvili is unbeaten in eight, with his most recent win coming against José Aldo.

Who do you think Cory Sandhagen should face next, Marlon Vera or Merab Dvalishvili?

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