Cory Sandhagen (17-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) no longer thinks that it is still right to push the rebooking of his bout against Umar Nurmagomedov (16-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC). In his statement, the American fighter explains the reason why, suggesting that the recent fight he won elevated him and that the Russian needs to put some effort to regain the chance of fighting him again.

The two were supposed to enter the octagon in August, but it can be recalled that Nurmagomedov withdrew due to an injury. As such, the fighter was placed by Rob Font, who is ranked at No. 12 in the bantamweight division. After defeating Font via unanimous decision, Sandhagen feels a rebooked bout against No. 12-ranked Nurmagomedov is no longer appropriate, despite the Russian having a four-fight winning streak.

“If you want to talk about a fair circumstance, I think that is pretty fair,” Sandhagen explained to SportsKeeda. “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.”

Currently, Sandhagen, ranked at No. 4 in the bantamweight division, is aiming for a title shot after his recovery from a tricep surgery caused by his fight against Font. Unfortunately, the timeline of his return (between April and May) does not complement the adjusted date (now set in March) of the Sean O’Malley-Marlon Vera fight, meaning he would have to face another bout in order to get the title shot. Needless to say, if Sandhagen is to pick who that next fight would be, it won’t be Nurmagomedov.

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