Aljamain Sterling thinks Cory Sandhagen could have received better fight offers if he hadn’t gotten injured from fighting Rob Font, who replaced his original opponent in August.
Sandhagen conquered Font via unanimous decision months ago. The bout was originally meant to feature Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov, but the latter had to withdraw due to an injury. To push the fight, UFC offered Font to Sandhagen. However, while the fighter defeated this replacement opponent, he received an injury that caused him to take some time to rest and recover from tricep surgery.
Sterling said this would not have happened if Sandhagen didn’t accept the fight. Even more, the former UFC Bantamweight Champion believes that UFC would have offered “Sandman” better opponents instead of Nurmagomedov, whom the UFC is now reportedly pushing for a rebook.
“If I’m Sandhagen, I’d be kicking myself,” Sterling told The Schmo. “Like damn, maybe I should have sat that one out and just waited and the doors would have opened up for me.”
“They’re giving him Umar, man. Unfortunately for him, it’s sh*tty because if he had not torn his tricep, he would be fighting Sean next. I still even think that’s weird because he beats Rob Font on short notice, should he leapfrog Merab (Dvalishvili), being that Merab is the No. 1 contender?”
Despite the rumors, Sandhagen is no longer interested in fighting the Russian. In November, the American fighter suggested that after winning his recent fight, he’s no longer at the same level as Nurmagomedov. With this, Sandhagen thinks Nurmagomedov needs to win more fights to prove himself worthy of a rebooked bout.
“If you want to talk about a fair circumstance, I think that is pretty fair,” Sandhagen said last month. “If we were on the same plane, going into that last one before he pulled out, which we weren’t, but I took the fight because I wanted a No. 1 contender fight.
“If we were on the same plane then and then I just racked a win against another really tough guy, with a first-round injury and still dominated, I don’t really see us being on the same plane anymore. I think that he needs one or two more wins, I think him getting hurt was a bummer for him because I don’t really know how many other guys are going to step up.”