On the main card of UFC 250, Aljamain Sterling battles Cory Sandhagen in what many assume is a number one contenders bout at bantamweight. Heading into the fight, Sterling is a -120 favorite while the comeback on Sandhagen is at -110.
Ahead of the fight, BJPENN.com reached out to several pro fighters to get their predictions for the scrap. The pros truly do believe it is a pick’em fight as the oddsmakers do. But, the majority lean towards Sandhagen getting the job done.
BJPENN.com Fighter Picks Aljamain Sterling vs. Cory Sandhagen:
Felicia Spencer, UFC featherweight: That is such a good fight. Aljamain has been fighting the top-level guys longer but Sandhagen is really looking good. I hate picking this fight, I honestly don’t know who will win this one. Both are good strikers and wrestlers, it should be an interesting fight.
Sean O’Malley, UFC bantamweight: That is a super interesting matchup. Cory has good footwork and good striking, and I think he’ll take it. But, Sterling is no joke and he’s fought some of the best guys. I think Cory Sandhagen gets it.
Tim Elliott, UFC flyweight: I’m a huge Sterling fan and a friend of Aljamain’s. I just think Cory is on another level, I’ve trained with him before and it was crazy how good he was. I think Sandhagen will be tough to beat and he’ll get it done.
Steven Peterson, UFC featherweight: Love this matchup. This fight is going to be a barn burner. Sterling is explosive and will get off early. Sandhagen is durable and can take a shot. I believe he can use his range and take over in the later rounds. I see this fight going the distance and coming down to who executes their game plan better. I’ll go with Sandhagen by decision.
Dan Ige, UFC featherweight: That one is interesting but I like Sandhagen. I like his style, he is on that next level. His striking and footwork is next level and his wrestling is good. I’m a fan of his and I think he beats Sterling.
Randy Costa, UFC bantamweight: I love the Sterling vs. Sandhagen fight. It’s going to be a really fun fight for sure. I think Cory does a fantastic job of mixing things up and making everything flow. He’s going to be too light on his feet and will be able to elude most of the takedown attempts by Sterling. I don’t think anyone gets finished in this fight. I think it’ll be a very close and fun fight, but I’m giving the edge to Cory Sandhagen.
Giga Chikadze, UFC featherweight: I love this fight. It is a great fight but I like Aljamain Sterling. He will come forward, is very good on the ground, and has the wrestling. His striking and weird movements may frustrate Sandhagen, but I’ll go with Sterling.
Louis Smolka, UFC bantamweight: That’s a good fight. It’s a tough one, Sandhagen uses his range well but Sterling has more experience than him and we haven’t seen Sandhagen on the ground with a really good grappler like Aljo. We’ve seen him fight Assuncao, but he’s not built the same way as Aljo. They are both long and lanky so that makes it interesting to see how they deal with that. I would give the edge standing to Sandhagen but on the ground, Sterling is better. It’s a toss-up, but I’m going to go with Sterling but it’s like 60-40.
Patrick Mix, Bellator bantamweight: I like Aljamain Sterling, he’s good everywhere. But, I think he can get Sandhagen down and maybe work his ground game and submit him. He’s funky but Sandhagen is good too. I think Sterling will win by decision or maybe submit him.
Fighters picking Aljamain Sterling: Giga Chikadze, Louis Smolka, Patrick Mix
Fighters picking Cory Sandhagen: Sean O’Malley, Tim Elliott, Steven Peterson, Dan Ige, Randy Costa
Undecided: Felicia Spencer
ICYMI: These pros also picked the main event between Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer.
Who do you think will win, Aljamain Sterling or Cory Sandhagen?