Cory Sandhagen Makes His Prediction For Aljamain Sterling/Henry Cejudo

UFC bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen has made his prediction for the expected title fight in his division between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo.

Sterling legitimized his reign on the throne with a pair of defenses over TJ Dillashaw and Petr Yan in 2022, the latter of which saw him make divisional UFC history. As well as securing the longest 135-pound win streak at UFC 280, “Funk Master” became the joint-most prolific victor in the weight class.

Now, as 2023 gets underway, Sterling is looking ahead to the third defense of his belt. By all accounts, that won’t be coming against anyone currently eyeing up the throne from the rankings.

Aljamain Sterling
Image Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

While Sean O’Malley appeared to stake his claim for a shot on the same night as Sterling’s latest defense, “Sugar” seemingly sits behind the returning Cejudo in the queue.

Having remained present in the MMA scene through coaching and comeback teases since his 2020 retirement, “Triple C” re-entered the USADA testing pool last year ahead of a planned return at bantamweight.

According to the champion, he’s likely to put the strap on the line against Cejudo in March. While no official announcement has been made, the former two-division titleholder also appears to have begun his fight camp.

With that, one of the division’s top contenders has provided his analysis and prediction for the grappler vs. grappler showdown.

Sandhagen Names Major Advantage For Champion Sterling

During a recent interview with MiddleEasy, Cory Sandhagen discussed the likely title clash, the winner of which he’s hoping to face down the line in 2023.

Despite Cejudo’s past success in the UFC, which also followed Olympic triumph in freestyle wrestling, “The Sandman” thinks that Sterling’s size will be an obstacle too tall for the former flyweight and bantamweight king.

“I think because Sterling is so much bigger, or is going to be so much bigger than Cejudo, I think that Sterling will likely take it,” Sandhagen said. “I think the wrestling is going to cancel each other out. I think it’s going to be a kickboxing fight more or less. Sterling will definitely try to take his back, but I don’t really see Cejudo giving his back to him.

“Then I think that it’s just going to be a kickboxing fight where Sterling’s gonna be a lot bigger and a lot funkier. That’s gonna be hard for Cejudo to deal with,” Sandhagen added. “And Cejudo’s gonna be a lot smaller than Sterling, too, which I think will matter.”

While much of the talk ahead of Sterling and Cejudo’s expected collision has surrounded their respective grappling pedigrees, with “Funk Master” suggesting he could defeat “Triple C” in a wrestling match, Sandhagen believes the old adage that two ground specialists will end up striking is likely to ring true in this matchup.

Sandhagen will certainly be keeping a close eye on the bout if and when it comes to fruition. The one-time interim title challenger is looking to stake his claim for an opportunity later in the year by defeating Marlon Vera next month at UFC Vegas 69.

Do you agree with Cory Sandhagen’s prediction for the expected championship bout between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo?

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