It’s time for Cory Sandhagen to get the backing he deserves
Earlier this year Cory Sandhagen got the biggest win of his career in his split decision win over John Lineker. It was of course a debatable win. For me Sandhagen didn’t win, but it is irrelevant because he did.
Fast forward 4 months and he is fighting again. Yet you would never have guessed it. Where has the promotion been? Non-existent. Has there been any talk on social media? Hardly. Is this indicative of the current state of the UFC and MMA? Yes it is.
What we have with Sandhagen is a huge prospect. He is 27 years old 11-1 in his MMA career and 4-0 in the UFC with only one fight going the distance. That fight was the aforementioned battle with a grizzled veteran in John Lineker. Nobody expected that fight to be a clean sweep for him, but he got it done. His only loss in the entire sport was a decision loss to Jamall Emmers, who got knocked out by Julien Erosa on DWTNC series. Emmers is actually a great fighter on the local scene and it is not a loss to worry about early in your career.
The point is Sandhagen is a beast. He knocks people out, he’s prepared to trade, he’s somewhat flashy, he’s young and he’s not a bad looking kid. So why no fan fare? To be honest with you, I have no idea. Normally MMA twitter is awash with chat about unseen talent like this, but not this time and not for this upcoming card. UFC 241 is this weekend, it features a heavyweight title fight, Diaz vs Pettis and Romero vs Costa. It most certainly is a tantalising line up. Where is Sandhagen? Well, he’s not even headlining the prelims.
Sandhagen faces tough, durable and perennial contender Raphael Assuncao. This is a huge fight, with massive rankings implications, and who is headlining above them? Devonte Smith and Khama Worthy. Yep. Worthy hasn’t even fought in the UFC and he has a higher spot on the card. This fight should be on the main card in my opinion.
Social media support has seemingly decreased as well. It seems as though the commenters haven’t forgiven him for the questionable decision earlier this year. Where are the articles discussing his rise? Where are the comments about where he goes next after this fight? there seems to me few compared to before the Linerker fight.
Sadly it looks like another hugely talented fighter might just get lost in the shuffle and burst his hype bubble. I hope it’s not the case. Let’s see if he can get the big finish over Assuncao and then we can talk title eliminator. People may think it would be too early, but Sandhagen is a legit and a potential future champion. Let’s hope he gets the credit and opportunities he deserves with a win here.