Cory Sandhagen finds himself in an interesting spot atop the Bantamweight ranks after UFC Vegas 60.
“The Sandman” fought in his third UFC main event this past weekend (Sat., Sept. 19, 2022), defeating Song Yadong via fourth round technical knockout (watch highlights). Sandhagen utilized violent slicing elbows to gash Song and ultimately get the doctor’s stoppage victory. Now, he firmly plants himself as a fixture in the division’s top 5 with some options going forward.
Among active fighters, Marlon “Chito” Vera appears to be the most logical next step for Sandhagen with each trying to make their claim for a shot at the title. However, the former champion, Henry Cejudo, is imminently returning and demanding his own shot at gold.
“What is he doing? I don’t know what the hell the guy is doing,” Sandhagen told The MMA Hour of Cejudo. “He’s going to be a curve ball forever if it’s his decision.”
“Triple C” retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition in May 2020 directly after defending his title against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249. In 2022, Cejudo re-entered the testing pool and is training to get back in the Octagon.
Instead of jumping the line entirely, Sandhagen admits he’d be open to that match up. Unfortunately, he’s mostly confused by the whole situation and isn't so sure he’d be someone Cejudo would agree to fight.
“He’s been off for so long,” Sandhagen said. “Why would the UFC do that? Why would they invest in someone who is just going to probably peace out after he maybe wins the title again? I don’t really see Henry as someone that can really build off of because I don’t think he’s going to stick around for long. I think he’s going to try to cherry-pick some fights, make another title fight, whether to make money or legacy — whatever his motivator is, I can’t really say — but I don’t really think he’s going to do it because he wants to stick around. He’s going to do it because — I don’t know why the hell he’s going to do it. I just don’t get it. I just don’t see him sticking around.”