American Cory Sandhagen took out the number three ranked bantamweight in the UFC on Saturday at UFC 241, earning arguably the biggest win of his career.
Raphael Assuncao and Cory Sandhagen threw down on the televised preliminary portion of UFC 241 Saturday night in Anaheim. The bantamweight pairing promised fireworks; Assuncao had just had a four-fight win streak snapped by Marlon Moraes, while Sandhagen was perfect in his UFC tenure to date.
The opening round saw both men standing toe-to-toe, slowly warming up. Sandhagen would target the body, Assuncao would let his hands go as well, but not a ton of combinations were put together by either man. They’d tie up by the fence, Sandhagen in control, but unable to make much happen, which allowed the Brazilian to break free. Sandhagen would later move in with a right, and fire off a jump knee. Assuncao found himself moving back under pressure, at which point, he was tied up again. Overall, Sandhagen was at least slightly ahead on the feet.
Round two saw Sandhagen clinching early, pressing his opponent into the cage again. However, after moving back to the open, Sandhagen gave up the back, and Assuncao dragged him to the canvas. That allowed Sandhagen to look for a kimura and stay active off his back. Assuncao at times had his opponent in trouble, trapping an arm and nearly taking the back again. However Sandhagen reversed, moving into guard and landing a few punches. Asuncao grabbed onto a leg in the process of freeing himself, and the pair rolled, with Sandhagen landing on top, only to have both an arm and leg caught between Assuncao’s legs.
— UFC (@ufc) August 18, 2019
Round three had the pair trading strikes here and there through the first ninety seconds. Assuncao scored a quick takedown at that point, but Sandhagen was immediately back up. He’d go to the body, Assuncao would later return to favor. Sandhagen gave up the back again, with Assuncao latching on with a bodylock. Eventually, Assuncao would land a big slam, but again, Sandhagen was back up in a flash. Sandhagen would later take Assuncao down with a kimura, but the difference-maker was his stand-up game, which earned him with win on the scorecards.
Cory Sandhagen def. Raphael Assuncao by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)