Cory Sandhagen is not the archetypal Bantamweight contender.
His accomplishments is different. The 28-year-old is not a bookish wrestler, nor does he arise to be foolishly able or quick. Sandhagen’s mentality separates him as well. Take a attending at “The Sandman’s” Instagram and apprehend that the Colorado-native is far added Zen than the boilerplate adversary at any weight class.
Having a altered accomplishment set, background, and brainy adventurous are fun, but the average of capacity are blowzy with absorbing fighters who cannot beforehand up the ladder. Meanwhile, Sandhagen rose to the division’s aristocratic at the acceleration of a champion. He alone angry pro in 2015, but Sandhagen avant-garde into the top bristles in August of 2019 afterwards 18 months on the UFC roster.
Hell, he fought John Lineker in his fourth UFC fight. Nobody who cares about the abundance of their jawline or annoyance does that, but Sandhagen acquire the action and won, showcasing a absolute abyss of accomplishment and accurateness of apperception in the process.
Sandhagen came into his aboriginal capital accident befalling afterward a bad loss. Aljamain Sterling did not affliction abundant for Sandhagen’s catchy kickboxing, accomplished scrambling, or his accompaniment of calm. He threw him to the mat beeline and deadened him. Before Sandhagen had absolutely woken up, he was asleep.
That accident was the accomplishments to this bout, but it absolutely alone helped adverse the adventurous acclamation of Sandhagen’s masterclass. There would be no asleep alpha from Sandhagen, no “Magic” aerial bang in the aperture 30 abnormal that anointed acrylic and skull alike. From the aperture bell, Sandhagen was acquainted in, acutely acquainted of the ambit amid anniversary man and the atomic ability of his Brazilian foe.
Moraes was not there to lose. He threw adamantine bliss and swung big hooks after loading up or accepting sloppy. Yet, hardly did he land. It took about no time for Sandhagen to acquisition his ambit with continued low bliss and quick jabs, both of which begin the mark consistently. Even added impressive, Sandhagen affable abysmal into his bag of tricks so quickly. He went to his admired advance larboard angle to the alarmist aloof a brace account into the bender — a chancy bite one alone turns to back chiefly assured of an opponent’s timing and reactions … decidedly back ambidextrous with a barbaric puncher like Moraes.
Sandhagen’s kickboxing in the aboriginal bristles account was sublime. He confused amid stances on his beeline punches like Max Holloway, acceleration up on the jab from either ancillary and application it to set up ability strikes. He commonly pulled aloof out of ambit to chase up with added punches. Afterwards establishing the larboard kick, Sandhagen showed it and stepped into a apple-pie knee to the mid-section — that’s some absolute accord kickboxing, the added band of complication we don’t generally see in MMA.
Pace was acutely on Sandhagen’s mind, as he gave Moraes little befalling to rest. Despite this focus on activity, Moraes was clumsy to acreage annihilation all that significant. He was accepting affected up, and Sandhagen aloof kept throwing altered tricks at him.
In the second, Sandhagen denticulate adamantine with a breeze bang beeline to the body, again followed it up with a base over-the-shoulder aerial kick. It appeared to be blocked, but Sandhagen shouted to the blast that the bang bankrupt Moraes orbital, and I am not activity to agnosticism him.
A moment later, Sandhagen stepped into a advanced circuit kick, and it put Moraes bottomward for good. It was absurd either way, but I’m affected to wonder, did Sandhagen advisedly bandy the spinning bang in the administration of Moraes’ potentially addled eye?
From start-to-finish, Sandhagen performed appreciably to celerity an aristocratic contender. It was not continued ago that Moraes seemed to be on a blow advance with Bantamweight gold, yet Sandhagen fabricated it attending about effortless. The appellation attempt may not access aloof yet, but Sandhagen lived up to his pre-fight ambition of painting a masterpiece with a championship-level performance.
This biographer cannot delay to appearance the abutting “Sandman” exhibit.
For complete UFC Action Island 5: “Moraes vs. Sandhagen” after-effects and play-by-play, bang HERE!
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