Cory Sandhagen doubles down on Marlon Vera callout: ‘I think Chito makes more sense’


Cory Sandhagen hopes his next fight is a title eliminator against Marlon Vera.

UFC Vegas 60, Sandhagen won his second fight with Song Yadong by a TKO in the fourth round. This was thanks to an acrimonious cut above the eye. After the victory, Sandhagen asked for a fight against Vera Dvalishvili or Merab Yadong. But upon further consideration, “The Sandman” would prefer to scrap with “Chito” next.

” “I believe Chito makes more sense,” Sandhagen said to Ariel Helwani during The MMA Hour . “I don’t mind the fight with Merab either, but Chito has a lot more pull behind him – he’s coming off a big win against [Dominick] Cruz, an impressive win against Cruz too. He’s finishing people, and honestly, from what I’ve seen on social media, it’s what a lot of the fans want to see, too. After beating [Rob] Font Chito called out the top five and went on to fight back .”

After knocking out Dominick Cruz in August, Vera finds himself on the cusp of title contention; rumors indicated Vera was in consideration to face the winner of the upcoming Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw title fight.

Sandhagen, who solidified his position as the No. 4-ranked bantamweight in the world by defeating Song, thinks it would be unfair for Vera to jump him for a title shot. Instead, he offers his colleague the chance to beat him for it.

“I was also told by someone that he might be in negotiations for a title shoot, and I was like “That guy can’t already get a Title Shot,” Sandhagen stated. I don’t believe that this should be the case. Chito should definitely have one more, and if it’s against me, that would be fantastic for the both of us.

“Cruz ranked No. 8 or whatever. For the past two to three years, I have been fighting top five guys. He beat Cruz, and a lot of his wins that he’s having aren’t super stellar – he’s winning most of the minutes. Although he is getting some good shots, it is great for him. He is also finding ways to win, but not showing that his opponent is beating him. That is something different. Let’s see if Chito and I can win.

For his part, Vera has already said he’s happy to fight Sandhagen next, telling the UFC’s social media team, “If he wants it, he can get it.” Now with both men interested in the fight, that just leaves the question of when and where. For the latter, Sandhagen isn’t particular, but as to the former, he’s hoping to settle this business sooner rather than later.

“If we could do another one at the end of the year,” Sandhagen said. “I don’t know what the card situation is, if they’re all filled or whatever. If they aren’t, I believe I should have another major event. … but if they are, January is OK, too.”