Cory Sandhagen


No-shows title eliminator
June 6, 2020
Sandhagen lost to Aljamain Sterling via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:28 of Round 1 at UFC 250 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
What a disaster. Seemingly one fight away from a shot at the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship, Sandhagen simply didn't show up. He allowed Sterling to get position along the fence and drag him to the mat, and it was academic from there. Cory fought off one rear-naked choke before Aljamain sunk it back in. Sandhagen has put plenty of good work on tape since his UFC debut back in January 2018, but this is going to be a tough one to overcome. It's not the fact Sandhagen lost, but the fact he wasn't the least bit competitive. Still just 28 years of age, Sandhagen has time to rebound, but it's going to be a long, drawn-out process.
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Set to meet Sterling at UFC 250
May 21, 2020
Sandhagen is slated to take on Aljamain Sterling in a bantamweight matchup at UFC 250 on June 6, Damon Martin of reports.
This fight was hinted at by Ariel Helwani of ESPN on Wednesday, and Sterling appears to have confirmed the news via his personal Twitter account Thursday. After starting off his UFC career with five consecutive wins against more-than-respectable competition, Sandhagen will now get an opportunity in what has all the makings of a title eliminator bout. The stakes are even higher here, as bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo abruptly announced his retirement after his UFC 249 victory over Dominick Cruz earlier this month. While it seems unlikely Cejudo sticks to that plan, the UFC appears to be lining up a new opponent as soon as a contract is agreed upon. Regarding Sterling and Sandhagen, it will be a matchup of two of the division's elite. Sterling has a slight reach advantage, but Sandhagen is four inches taller. Sandhagen offers elite striking volume -- more than seven significant strikes landed per minute -- though it's over a much smaller sample size. One potential weakness is Sandhagen's takedown defense, as it sits at just 27 percent after each of his first five opponents have recorded at least one takedown. It's a strategy Sterling may try to employ to negate the size advantage, but not one that's been able to stop Sandhagen yet. Also of note is that Petr Yan may have something to say about this fight being a title eliminator, though he's currently lined up to face Marlon Moraes on June 13 in an overseas event likely to be rescheduled.
Top contender fight appears postponed
April 2, 2020
Sandhagen will no longer face Aljamain Sterling at UFC San Diego on May 16, as the California State Athletic Commission has cancelled all combat sports events until June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marc Raimondi of ESPN reports.
Sandhagen moved to 5-0 in the UFC with an August victory over Rafael Assuncao, but has run into a string of bad luck of late. He was scheduled to face Frankie Edgar in December before that bout was ultimately cancelled, and now the future of his showdown with the division's No. 2-ranked contender is in limbo. Champion Henry Cejudo's scheduled title defense May 9 in Brazil is looking iffy as well, and it's unclear how the UFC intends to realign when fights hopefully resume later in the summer.
Could fight in May
March 23, 2020
A fight between Sandhagen and Aljamain Sterling is in the works for UFC Fight Night in San Diego on May 16, Aaron Bronsteter of reports.
It remains unclear if the date in question will still be available due to the current coronavirus pandemic, but it is on the schedule as of now. Sandhagen sports a 13-1 MMA record and has reeled off five-straight UFC victories. His potential opponent, Sterling, has momentum as well, as he is riding a four-fight win streak.
Raleigh fight canceled
December 23, 2019
Sandhagen won't be fighting at UFC on ESPN+ 24 after his opponent, Frankie Edgar, had to be removed from the card after suffering damage to his right orbital in the loss to Chan Sung Jung on Saturday, Nolan King of USA Today reports.
Edgar fought at UFC on ESPN+ 23 this past Saturday as a fill-in for Brian Ortega (knee) after the 28-year-old suffered a partially torn ACL earlier this month. He was still in line to fight Sandhagen on Jan. 25 in Raleigh if he didn't suffer an injury during his TKO loss to Jung over the weekend. Sandhagen will unfortunately not receive a replacement opponent and will now look to extend his three-match winning streak against a new challenger in 2020.
Set to face Frankie Edgar
November 13, 2019
Sandhagen will take on Frankie Edgar (wrist) in a bantamweight bout in a co-main event at UFC Fight Night in Raleigh on Jan. 25, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Sandhagen carries a 5-0 record as a UFC fighter with a 12-1 record over his professional career as he prepares to face Edgar, who is a veteran in MMA but is making his bantamweight debut. Edgar won the UFC's 155-pound championship in 2010 and is 23-7-1 as a professional fighter. He is coming off a loss to Max Holloway via unanimous decision in July. Sandhagen carries advantages in height and reach heading into the fight.