Michael Bisping commends Cory Sandhagen for risking it all against Umar Nurmagomedov

Michael Bisping commends Cory Sandhagen for risking it all against Umar Nurmagomedov

Michael Bisping commended Cory Sandhagen’s willingness to “risk it all” in a fight with rising contender Umar Nurmagomedov.

Sitting in the No. 2 spot in the bantamweight rankings courtesy of a trio of victories over Song Yadong, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, and Rob Font, ‘Sandman’ should be the next man in line for a shot at the 135-pound crown — once reigning champion Sean O’Malley handles some business with Merab Dvalishvili. But instead of sitting back and waiting for his turn, Sandhagen is putting it all on the line against one of the division’s most feared contenders.

Cory Sandhagen vs. Nurmagomedov

Sandhagen and Nurmagomedov will headline a massive Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi on August 3 with the winner securing themselves a guaranteed shot at the bantamweight title in late 2024/early 2025.

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Speaking with TNT Sports, UFC Hall of Famer and former middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping applauded Sandhagen’s bravery, saying:

“When it comes to contenders, Cory Sandhagen is right there. He has proven himself as the worthy guy, but he’s got to continue fighting to establish himself and get that shot.

“There is no one better, no one hungrier or undeniable than Umar Nurmagomedov of course with that name, that resume. The undefeated record and the well-rounded skills. We know the wrestling is there but the man is a kickboxing phenom as well. This is a tremendous fight, of course, it’s the main event and whoever wins this has to be next for Sean O’Malley.”

Cory Sandhagen

Bisping Believes it’s a ‘Bad situation for both’ Cory Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov

Recognizing the stakes at play, Bisping suggested that as exciting as the fight is on paper, it puts both fighters in a bad situation — particularly in the case of Cory Sandhage who, by all accounts, has already earned a title shot.

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“It’s a bad situation for both of them. On paper, they are both right there. Sandhagen has earned a title fight. Remember that absolute washout he had of Chito [Marlon] Vera. No disrespect to Chito, he’s a good friend of mine.

“Sandhagen was just one step ahead. He’s a beautiful striker, he’s got great submission. He’s excellent at wrestling. He’s very tall and long for the division. He’s beaten some great competition and now he’s going to take on the undefeated Dagestani. I feel for Sandhagen but credit to this guy because he’s willing to do it and risk it all to go up against Umar Nurmagomedov, it’s a sensational fight.”