Cory Sandhagen Plotting Octagon Return Against Jose Aldo, Dominick Cruz

    ByRoss Markey

    Mar 31, 2022
    Cory Sandhagen

    One-time interim UFC bantamweight title challenger, Cory Sandhagen believes a victory over either former promotional champions, Jose Aldo or Dominick Cruz in his Octagon return – puts him in prime position to challenge for gold in the not-too-distant future.

    Sandhagen, who most recently featured back in October in the co-main event of UFC 267 on ‘Fight Island’ – replaced champion, Aljamain Sterling on short notice competing against former undisputed champion, Petr Yan in an interim title clash, suffering a unanimous decision loss.

    The defeat came as Sandhagen’s second consecutively for the first time in his professional career, after he dropped a close, highly-debated split decision loss to former two-time undisputed bantamweight best, T.J. Dillashaw in the latter’s Octagon comeback in July.

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    The loss to the Angels Camp veteran snapped a run of two straight victories for Sandhagen – who had turned in impressive victories over the duo of Marlon Moraes, and then former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar – who he stopped with a stunning 28-second flying knee.

    Currently sat at #4 in the official bantamweight rankings beneath the aforenoted, Aldo, Dillashaw, Yan, and Sterling.

    Plotting an Octagon return following a disappointing pair of decision losses against division outliers, Sandhagen has suggested bouts with former featherweight kingpin, Aldo, or former two-time bantamweight gold holder, Cruz in a bid to quickstart a second promotional title siege.

    “I was kind of hoping for (Jose) Aldo or (Dominick) Cruz (next), because those guys kind of have a lot of juice, and that’s kind of how this business works a little bit, so, I’m still hoping for an Aldo or Cruz (fight),” Cory Sandhagen said in a recent interview with MMA Junkie reporter, Farah Hannoun.”

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    “I think that will set me up very nicely for maybe two more wins, then I get to fight for the belt again,” Cory Sandhagen continued.

    Cory Sandhagen also welcomed comebacks against Rob Font and Merab Dvalishvili

    Boasting a 14-4 professional record, Sandhagen’s sole other promotional loss came in the form of a one-sided rear-naked choke loss to the above-mentioned champion, Sterling at UFC 250 in June 2020. The loss brought a close to Sandhagen’s run of five straight UFC victories, having bested Austin Arnett, Iuri Alcantara, Mario Bautista, recently minted ONE Championship champion, John Lineker, and division staple, Raphael Assuncao.