Streaking UFC bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen is glad that Henry Cejudo, the division’s most recent champion, has retired and vacated the throne.
Cejudo shocked viewers by announcing his retirement from MMA shortly after he defended the UFC bantamweight title with a second-round TKO of Dominick Cruz at UFC 249.
Sandhagen says he never enjoyed Cejudo’s trash talk, and was put off by the former champion’s calls for fights with aging legends like Cruz and Jose Aldo.
“I love that Henry left,” Sandhagen told MMA Junkie recently. “I’m pumped that Henry left. His personality was annoying to me. I know that it wasn’t real, but it was annoying to me. I think his choices in Aldo and (Dominick) Cruz (as opponents) were also lame, but I see his argument, too. He wanted to sell pay-per-view buys and wanted to beat a couple of legends and take off. So I get it. But he was annoying and I’m glad that he’s gone.”
With Cejudo no longer on the bantamweight throne, the UFC has booked a fight between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo to coronate a new champion. Aldo is riding a loss to Marlon Moraes, so his receiving a title shot has been somewhat controversial, but Sandhagen doesn’t seem bothered.
“Although they chose Yan vs. Aldo, I’m still not stressing about it,” he sad. “I still think I’m fighting for a belt at some point this year, whether it’s fall or the end of the year or whatever. I’m not stressing. I’ve been doing really good and I’ve been getting really good matches, so I’m still comfortable. I’m still OK with what’s going on.
“Aldo is a huge name and I don’t necessarily see it as it could be a terrible thing because whether Yan or Aldo win, whatever,” Sandhagen said. “Aldo is a pretty huge name, and that also draws a lot of attention to the division. So either one of them, it doesn’t matter.”
Sandhagen will return to the cage against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250 this Saturday. The winner is expected to receive the next bantamweight title shot.
Do you think Cory Sandhagen is a future champion?