Cory Sandhagen hopes to be the backup fighter for the UFC 256 bantamweight title fight between champion Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling.
Sandhagen is coming off of an incredible win as he was able to knock out the No. 1 contender Marlon Moraes with a spinning wheel kick and punches on Fight Island earlier this month. Sandhagen was able to bounce back nicely after a surprisingly-quick loss to Sterling back at UFC 250 in June and the win over Moraes cements his place in the top-five of the weight class. He isn’t far away from a title shot at this point.
Despite his flashy win over Moraes, the UFC did the right thing and finally gave Sterling his title shot against Yan, a title shot that he absolutely deserves after winning his last five fights in a row. Sterling will now take on Yan in the Russian’s first title defense in the co-main event of UFC 256, which takes place on December 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With Yan vs. Sterling coming up soon, Sandhagen said he is willing to train for the date and even make championship weight as the backup fighter if the UFC asks him to.
“I understand that I’m the No. 1 guy that would jump into that spot, so I’m not gonna be stupid and just blow that away because I don’t wanna train. I’m gonna definitely keep myself prepared. I have no issue, or my ego has no issue, with being an alternate for that fight,” Sandhagen said to MMAjunkie.com.
Sandhagen has a 6-1 overall record in the UFC and is currently ranked as the No. 2 contender in the division, so there’s no doubt he would be next in line to fight for the belt if something happens. But instead of just being a backup fighter, perhaps the UFC could match Sandhagen up against another top-10 bantamweight so he would fight either way.
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