San Antonio, TX – Imagine a retired fighter hopping back into your division and getting a title shot off the bat due to their popularity and then effectively putting your entire division on hold for a while. UFC bantamweights, including Cory Sandhagen, are left to wait in line until the title is decided.
“I guess I’m like ok with it. I do think that like you shouldn’t be able to just like pop out of retirement and then just, you know fight for a belt. That seems a little bit lame to me,” Sandhagen told reporters on Wednesday.
“You shouldn’t have retired in the first place if that was the case.”
At the same time since he feels he’s not completely in the title picture at the moment it really doesn’t bother him very much.
“As long as I’m not the one that’s like competing against Cejudo for the next title shot, which I don’t really feel like I am, then I could kind of care less,” he said.
Sandhagen (15-4) is right on one end that he’s not entirely in the title picture at the moment. He’s coming off a victory back in Sept. 2022, but that snapped a two-fight losing streak which in the bantamweight division puts you at or near the back of the line.
He gets an opportunity to jump up a few spots against Marlon “Chito” Vera this Saturday night in the main event of UFC San Antonio.
“I think Marlon is a dog. He presses forward. He’s a very rooted fighter, his feet are usually on the floor, so he’s able to get shots off really quickly. Hits people good on exits. Hits people good on entrances. Doesn’t mix it up a ton. Definitely kickboxing is his biggest attribute,” Sandhagen said.
“Along with being very durable and having a hell of a will to win. I’m excited to fight him. I mean what’s more exciting than two kickboxers, some of the best kickboxers in the division, going at it?”
Even though they’re two of the best stand-up fighters in the division, Sandhagen knows that Vera has one more level to him with his toughness and will to find the victory in the fight.
“Marlon’s definitely one of those guys where you don’t like chase the finish against that guy. I’ve fought guys with like really tough chins before in my past and been like well if they fall over, cool. But you know let’s not exert a ton of energy trying to finish a guy that’s going to be majorly tough to finish,” he said.
“His will to win just adds like another level of excitement for me too.”
Watch the entire media day scrum with Cory Sandhagen above. He takes on Marlon “Chito” Vera in the main event of UFC San Antonio on Saturday night.