Cory Sandhagen is preparing to be the backup fighter for the upcoming bantamweight title fight in December.
Sandhagen is coming off an impressive second-round TKO win over Marlon Moraes earlier this month to all but cement himself as the next in line to challenge for the title.
Meanwhile, Petr Yan is set to defend his bantamweight crown against Aljamain Sterling in the co-main event of UFC 256 which takes place December 12.
And provided he is not booked against an opponent until then, Sandhagen plans on being the alternate fighter just in case either competitor is unable to compete on the night.
“Yeah, definitely that’s my plan,” Sandhagen told MMA Junkie Radio. “Moraes landed one really good low kick on me, so I’m trying to do my best to keep it moving so that it doesn’t get weak, and I don’t let my body get too weak. But I mean, that’s the plan.
“Right when I can get back to not the hardest training in the world, but if I could be 80 percent for the next month-and-a-half and kinda feel out whether or not these guys are gonna fight, especially today with the coronavirus and all that jazz. Weird stuff is gonna happen all the time, so I mean, I’m definitely gonna stay at about 80 percent.”
Sandhagen has not been approached by the UFC to be the alternate as of yet. However, he will keep himself prepared in case the opportunity presents itself.
“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,” Sandhagen added. “I’m gonna definitely keep myself prepared. I have no issue, or my ego has no issue, with being an alternate for that fight.”
What do you think of Sandhagen being the backup?