Sandhagen wants to test Nurmagomedov in five rounds

UFC lightweight division number three Corey Sandhagen, who has agreed to fight Umar Nurmagomedov, expects his clash with the Russian to be a five-round affair.

“Yeah, that’s what I asked for, and I definitely feel like a five-round fight – I perform better in five-round fights,” the American fighter said in an interview with James Lynch. “I can start gaining momentum in the third round, and it would be great to pick up the pace that high. Umar was breathing hard in his last fight and definitely showed his vulnerability, although you have to admit he took the fight at a pretty high pace”

As for a fight date, Sandhagen wouldn’t want to fight Nurmagomedov on June 22 in Riyadh, or August 3 in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m not sure I should go to the other side of the world to fight. I’m giving him a chance, that’s what it looks like. I’m the guy that gives him a chance to prove himself and prove that he deserves to fight for the title next, and I don’t really like the idea of crossing halfway across the world so he can have an advantage”

The American fighter previously said he expects to face the Russian on June 29 at UFC 303 in Las Vegas.

The fight between Sandhagen and Nurmagomedov was supposed to headline UFC on ESPN 50 in Nashville last August, but the Russian was injured and withdrew from the fight, while the American fighter defeated his compatriot Rob Font, who won by unanimous decision.

Earlier this month, Umar Nurmagomedov successfully resumed his career after more than a year off, defeating organization debutant Bekzat Almakhan by unanimous decision to move up to number ten in the division’s rankings.