Cory Sandhagen eyes title eliminator fight with UFC foe Umar Nurmagomedov next: ‘Let’s go at it’

Cory Sandhagen eyes UFC title eliminator with Umar Nurmagomedov next let's go at it

UFC bantamweight Cory Sandhagen welcomes a number one contender fight with rising contender Umar Nurmagomedov.

Now 5-0 inside the UFC, Nurmagomedov has yet to face a top-level bantamweight during his run with the promotion despite now being ranked in the top 10. There have been rumours that Nurmagomedov continues to be turned down by ranked fighters, but there has been one to accept the challenge. 

Cory Sandhagen welcomes Umar Nurmagomedov fight

Sandhagen and Nurmagomedov were booked to face each other last August, but an injury forced Nurmagomedov out with Cory Sandhagen instead facing, and beating, Rob Font. Following his win this past weekend, Nurmagomedov called for a rebooking of the bout to take place on International Fight Week later this year. Now ranked No.3, Sandhagen is still open to the fight even if it meant fighting someone placed seven spots below him.

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“I have no problem fighting Umar, especially if they’re telling me it’s for a #1 contender spot,” Sandhagen said during an interview with CBS Sports reporter, Shakiel Mahjouri.

“If they’re that high on him, let’s go at it and decide who should be fighting for the belt next and then let’s solidify this thing so that there’s no more question on whether it should be me or someone else. If I win the next one against Umar there’s no argument that I shouldn’t be fighting for the belt next.”

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Since his loss to Petr Yan at UFC 267, Sandhagen has embarked on an impressive three-fight run, which includes a win over this week’s bantamweight title challenger, Marlon Vera. While Nurmagomedov may not be a notable name on his record, his talent and name vale in undeniable – following his win this past weekend the booking does make sense. 

The bout will expose exactly what level Nurmagomedov is, Sandhagen’s striking ability has always been obvious but over the past couple of years, he has showed a real maturity and development in his overall game. 

Who wins, Cory Sandhagen or Umar Nurmagomedov?