Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event in San Antonio brought plenty of excitement. In the main event, two of the best UFC bantamweight contenders battled it out for a shot at the top dog in the division. Cory Sandhagen was able to outlast and basically outclass the always dangerous Marlon “Chito” Vera.
After Sandhagen got the split-decision win, he had a post-fight speech all ready to go when he was asked who he would like to fight next by Michael Bisping. Sandhagen called out the No. 1 contender of the bantamweight division Merab Dvalishvili, who is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak after absolutely dominating the former bantamweight champion Petr Yan.
Sandhagen praised Dvalishvili for doing what he’s been doing en route to that no. 1 spot, but then called him out to put his name at the top of the list for a title shot, per ESPN.
Cory Sandhagen vs. Merab Dvalishvili is the fight to make
Although Cory Sandhagen’s rehearsed callout of Merab Dvalishvili was quite corny, it was the right callout to make. Seeing as Dvalishvili vows to never fight his best friend and training partner Aljamain Sterling, this fight with Sandhagen makes the most sense.
After Sterling and Henry Cejudo settle their differences at UFC 288 in Newark, the idea is that Sean O’Malley is next in line for a title shot whether or not Sterling is victorious. O’Malley is the money fight right now inside the top five of the bantamweight division. He has also stated that he will be sitting out and waiting for his title shot.
So that leaves just one other option, and that’s Cory Sandhagen vs. Merab Dvalishvili. More fighters have recently fought Petr Yan, albeit only one of them has a win against him, but the way the rankings are shaping up this is the fight to make and we know there will be fireworks.
A five-round fight between Sandhagen and Dvalishvili would absolutely deliver. Sandhagen has a very unorthodox style of striking mixed with some underrated wrestling and excellent cardio that would give Dvalishvili the hardest fight he has ever had.
The way that Dvalishvili fights with his insane pressure, wrestling, and cardio would push even someone like Sandhagen to the brink of exhaustion. Unfortunately for Dvalishvili, if his partner in crime Sterling doesn’t lose or relinquish his belt by moving up, a win against Sandhagen would not do anything for him.
Luckily for him is that he has a different mindset than other fighters. His loyalty and respect to his loved ones is something he cherishes more than winning a championship, and that comes from his Georgian background. Ultimately this would be an absolutely can’t-miss fight between Cory Sandhagen and Merab Dvalishvili, so let’s hope the UFC gets the fight signed.
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