Cory Sandhagen is still pondering why Henry Cejudo is retired if the former Two-division champ is still pursuing a title. Cejudo retired after defending his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz in May 2020. Three years later, Henry is attempting to regain the belt he never lost by challenging champion Aljamain Sterling in the UFC 288 headliner on May 6.
Sandhagen does not believe Cejudo’s return to the division’s top will directly impact him but dislikes him jumping the line. During Wednesday’s pre-fight news conference for UFC on ESPN 43, Sandhagen told the media,
“You shouldn’t be able to jump out of retirement and fight for a belt. That seems a little bit lame to me. You shouldn’t have returned in the first place if that was the case. That’s my opinion on it. As long as I’m not the one competing against Cejudo for the next title shot, which I don’t feel like I am, I could (not) kind of care less.”
Sandhagen, who faces Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera in a crucial bantamweight clash in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 43 headliner, is undecided on the potential winner between Sterling and Cejudo.
However, Sandhagen sees how former Olympic gold medalist wrestler Cejudo can negate Sterling’s most significant advantage stating,
“That’s an exciting fight. You get two guys who are good at wrestling, and usually what you get is a not-so-good kickboxing match, which could be what it is. But I also could see Cejudo using his takedown just to nullify close rounds. That’ll probably be his path to victory.”
“He’ll try to score some takedowns – not mess around with Aljamain too much on the floor, just nullify the striking that I feel will probably be pretty close. It’s a tricky one. I have yet to learn what Cejudo’s been up to except for making YouTube videos. It’ll be interesting to see.”
Where does Cory Sandhagen stand in the Bantamweight title picture?
The Colorado-born fighter has been taking on some big challenges lately. He went toe-to-toe against the likes of Petr Yan and T.J. Dillashaw but failed to secure the win. His impressive performances and willingness to take on challenges probably landed him another highly skilled opponent like Vera.
— UFC (@ufc) March 21, 2023
Unfortunately, a win here may not automatically propel the ‘Sandman’ to another shot at the 135 lb strap. Contenders like Sean O’Malley seem next in line considering the immense star power they bring inside the Octagon as opposed to someone like Cory. However, just a few more wins should do the trick for the former title challenger.
Who do you think wins between Cory and Chito?