UFC 250 Results: Aljamain Sterling Chokes Out Cory Sandhagen Early

Aljamain Sterling, UFC 250
Aljamain Sterling, UFC 250 Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

UFC 250 was, if nothing else, a showcase for the bantamweights on Saturday. Three bantamweight bouts populated the main card, while on the prelims, a pair of 135lb’ers in Cody Stamann and Brian Kelleher squared off at featherweight, if only because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In fact, there’s an argument to be made that it was Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen, not Cody Garbrandt vs. Raphael Assuncao, that should have been slotted in as the Las Vegas card’s co-main event. After all, it was Sterling vs. Sandhagen that was looked at as a title eliminator, not the two slumping fighters that would throw down immediately after them.

In any case, a lot was on the line between “The Funkmaster” and Sandhagen on Saturday. Mainly, a shot at the winner of Jose Aldo and Petr Yan, assuming all went according to plan.

It was Aljamain Sterling who made a statement.

Sterling opened with a leg kick and Sandhagen fired back his own. Sterling moved in for the clinch and worked for the take down. Sterling quickly took Sandhagen’s back, got his hooks in, grabbed Sandhagen’s neck and brought the fight to the ground. There he locked in the body triangle and worked the choke. Sandhagen worked his neck free and tried to spin into the body lock but Sterling held on and was able to slide his arm through under the chin of Sandhagen, locking in the choke. Moments later it was over; Sandhagen was forced to tap. As he did, he appeared to go out. Nap time.

“The world is in shambles right now. Especially in America, there’s a lot going on,” Sterling said post-fight, speaking to Joe Rogan, before voicing his support to protesters around the U.S. fighting against racial inequality.

Official Result: Aljamain Sterling def. Cory Sandhagen by submission (rear naked choke), Round 1, 1:28