UFC 241 Preview And Picks: Can Cory Sandhagen Force Himself Into Bantamweight Mix?

UFC Fight Night Cejudo v Dillashaw
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Two top-ten bantamweights face off on the prelims of Saturday’s UFC 241 fight card. One of those fighters is hoping to put his name in the title mix with a win and the other wants to bounce back from a loss that ended his four-fight winning streak. That setback cost that fighter a shot at the UFC bantamweight title.

The competitor who is looking to force himself into the mix is No. 9 ranked Cory Sandhagen. The 27-year-old is 4-0 in the UFC and coming off a win over the hard-hitting John Lineker. In order to move up in the rankings, the American scrapper has to get by the 37-year-old Raphael Assuncao. Assuncao has been competing with the WEC/UFC since 2009. Assuncao is currently ranked No. 3 in the division. He is coming off a submission loss to Marlon Moraes. Moraes went on to fight for the bantamweight title after he defeated the veteran Brazilian.

“A dream scenario (vs. Assuncao) is me winning every little battle that happens inside of that fight,” Sandhagen told MMA Junkie. “Assuncao is an extremely smart guy who knows how to play the game, and for me the challenge with this fight is to be combating against that, and that’s what he’s best at. I see that any time he’s going to score, I’m going to score harder afterwards or before, and I don’t see myself losing any inches in this fight. So for me to fight this perfect fight and have a dream scenario, I give Assuncao no inches, and I win every little battle that happens and hopefully about halfway through the first round, halfway through the second round, he’ll realize that. And hopefully I can get a finish because I break him.”

If Sandhagen does get the win, he hopes the UFC will consider him for an interim title fight between himself and Petr Yan or Aljamian Sterling. 

UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo, who also holds the UFC flyweight title is recovering from surgery and is not expected to fight again this year. When he does return, Cejudo could opt to defend his 125-pound title first.

UFC 241 takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass. 

Pick: Sandhagen

More from this series:

UFC 241 Preview And Picks: Can Manny Bermudez Stay Unbeaten?

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Two top-ten bantamweights face off on the prelims of Saturday’s UFC 241 fight card. One of those fighters is hoping to put his name in the title mix with a win and the other wants to bounce back from a loss that ended his four-fight winning streak. That setback cost that fighter a shot at the UFC bantamweight title.

The competitor who is looking to force himself into the mix is No. 9 ranked Cory Sandhagen. The 27-year-old is 4-0 in the UFC and coming off a win over the hard-hitting John Lineker. In order to move up in the rankings, the American scrapper has to get by the 37-year-old Raphael Assuncao. Assuncao has been competing with the WEC/UFC since 2009. Assuncao is currently ranked No. 3 in the division. He is coming off a submission loss to Marlon Moraes. Moraes went on to fight for the bantamweight title after he defeated the veteran Brazilian.

“A dream scenario (vs. Assuncao) is me winning every little battle that happens inside of that fight,” Sandhagen told MMA Junkie. “Assuncao is an extremely smart guy who knows how to play the game, and for me the challenge with this fight is to be combating against that, and that’s what he’s best at. I see that any time he’s going to score, I’m going to score harder afterwards or before, and I don’t see myself losing any inches in this fight. So for me to fight this perfect fight and have a dream scenario, I give Assuncao no inches, and I win every little battle that happens and hopefully about halfway through the first round, halfway through the second round, he’ll realize that. And hopefully I can get a finish because I break him.”

If Sandhagen does get the win, he hopes the UFC will consider him for an interim title fight between himself and Petr Yan or Aljamian Sterling. 

UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo, who also holds the UFC flyweight title is recovering from surgery and is not expected to fight again this year. When he does return, Cejudo could opt to defend his 125-pound title first.

UFC 241 takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass. 

Pick: Sandhagen

More from this series:

UFC 241 Preview And Picks: Can Manny Bermudez Stay Unbeaten?

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