Despite these claims from Aljamain Sterling, it appears the UFC bantamweight title race is still anyone’s game, which adds another level of importance to the UFC Fight Island 5 main event this Sat. night (Oct. 10, 2020) in Abu Dhabi.
That’s why No. 1-ranked Marlon Moraes is treating veteran opponent Cory Sandhagen as one of the top bantamweights in the world, and even puts the 28 year-old Coloradan above former 135-pound titleholder Dominick Cruz.
“I think Cory is a better version of Dominick Cruz,” Moraes told MMA Junkie at the UFC Fight Island 5 media day. “I want to get in there and show the caliber of fighter I am. Getting there against a highly skilled opponent like Cory. Cory’s not an easy fight for anybody. In my opinion he’s one of the best fighters in the division and he’s one of the hardest guys to fight.”
Sandhagen (12-2) saw his seven-fight win streak — which included a perfect 5-0 record inside the Octagon — come to a screeching halt at the hands of Sterling last June, when “Funkmaster” submitted him at the UFC 250 pay-per-view (PPV) event.
As for Moraes (23-6-1), the Brazilian has not competed since his split-decision victory over Jose Aldo at UFC 245 last December. “Magic” and his family were subsequently sidelined with coronavirus earlier this year but bounced back without further incident.
To see who else is fighting at UFC Fight Island 5 click here.