Folks complained that this wasn’t a five-round fight. However, it turned out that it didn’t need to be. Aljamain Sterling fought Cory Sandhagen at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas in what was billed as a title eliminator. Rising Russian star Petr Yan will fight Jose Aldo for the bantamweight strap. But the winner of this one knew that they would be next in line.
Sterling had a chip on his shoulder coming into this one. In short, he believes that he should be fighting Yan for the title. Meanwhile, analysts so frequently describe Sandhagen as a dark horse, that you have to wonder if that label can be fairly applied to him anymore.
Anyway, both men wanted to make a massive statement but it was the ‘Funkmaster’ who pulled off a stunning victory. Check out his win below as he submitted Sandhagen in just 88 seconds.
— Lewis Simpson MMA (@LGS_MMA) June 7, 2020
Sterling pushed a furious pace from the moment the bell rang. He pressed forward and found himself on Sandhagen’s back before the latter knew what was happening. From there it was all Sterling as he put his Gracie BJJ skills into action. He attacked with a rear-naked choke but Sandhagen fought it off.
However, he wasn’t out of the woods just yet. Sterling stretched him out further and went hunting again. This time he was able to sink his forearm in deep underneath the chin. Sandhagen tried to hang on but the tightness of the choke forced him to tap out. Then, before Sterling had time to release him, he went out cold.
— ESPN (@espn) June 7, 2020
There’s surely no doubt now that Sterling must fight for the title as soon as possible. He told Petr Yan that he is ‘coming for that ass” after fixing a slip where he said he is “coming on.” But he is definitely a problem for anybody in this division. He’s also arguably got some of the most underrated BJJ in the promotion.
In the case of Sandhagen, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. He will have to regroup and try not to be too demoralized. The Boston native will argue that he didn’t get to show off what he can do, but this is MMA. You’ve got to feel for him because the reason fighters tap out instead of just going to sleep is to avoid the six-month medical suspension.
— Quentin Quarantino (@GilG9484) June 7, 2020
Meanwhile, in the main event, Amanda Nunes torched Felicia Spencer. She didn’t get the finish but she did inflict five rounds of brutal misery on her victim. It was very uncomfortable to watch the Canadian struggle against the featherweight champion. However, Nunes became the first fighter to defend titles in two weight classes.
Furthermore, it was a busy night for the bantamweight. Rising star Sean O’Malley got a sensational walk-off KO against Eddie Wineland. A step-up in the competition is surely next for the ‘Suga Show.’ Then Cody Garbrandt got back on track with a scorching KO over Raphael Assuncao in the final second of the second round. It was savage.
In sum, this was a very entertaining night of fights in Las Vegas. The smaller octagon also makes a difference in putting on action-packed fights. We’re enjoying this.