Former two-division UFC champ Henry Cejudo believes Cory Sandhagen is the best fighter among the promotion’s active bantamweights.
Cejudo previously ruled over the UFC flyweight and bantamweight divisions, but retired in early 2020.
Speaking to The Schmo recently, Cejudo sized up the bantamweights that have risen to the top of the division in his stead, and identified the man he believes is the best of the bunch: Sandhagen.
“He’s probably, in my opinion, the best 135 pounder other than me,” Cejudo said (via MMA Junkie).
While Cejudo has some high praise for Sandhagen, he believes he knows how to beat him. The key to trumping Sandhagen, he says, is pressure.
“You just have to learn to bring the fight to Cory Sandhagen,” Cejudo said. “You just gotta bring the fight, that’s it. You cannot give that kid space. He’s extremely dangerous; he’s got talent. But if you don’t bring the fight, he’s gonna get you because there’s one thing that he does know very well, and that’s distance and his composure, which are the things that I look at when I watch a fight.”
Sandhagen is currently riding the momentum of a highlight-reel knockout win over UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, which propelled him into the No. 2 spot into the bantamweight rankings. The widespread feeling is that he’s already earned a shot at the winner of the upcoming title fight between champion Petr Yan and challenger Aljamain Sterling, but he could also take another fight in the meantime to stay active.
According to Cejudo, Sandhagen would be wise to wait for his title shot, but he could also benefit from fighting former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who is poised to return from a two-year USADA suspension for EPO usage.
“I would wait in line if I were him (Sandhagen),” Cejudo said. “I would also wait for T.J. too, because that’s an easy fight for him. The difference between Cory Sandhagen and T.J. Dillashaw, is the fact that he’s better at what Dillashaw does. He’s a lot cleaner; he’s a lot smoother. They have similar styles, but T.J.’s style is a lot more broken, that Duane ‘Bang’ whatever it’s called. So if I was Cory, I would wait. If I was T.J., I would probably try to fight him to get to that title shot.”
What do you think of these comments from Henry Cejudo?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM