Cory Sandhagen DOMINATES Chito Vera In San Antonio
Hell of a main event in San Antonio tonight to wrap up that great UFC card!
Cory Sandhagen just looked a few levels above Marlon "Chito" Vera in that fight. I don't know why the hell it was a split decision, because it shoulda been a 50-45 (49-46 at the very WORST) win for the Sandman, but he won anyway, so I guess that doesn't matter much. It was just insane to hear after that complete and total masterclass. Let's talk about it.
In the first, it was all Sandhagen - minus a couple elbows from the bottom from Vera that opened up a nasty cut. Cory looked great on the feet, secured a takedown pretty quickly, and showed off his top control (which Chito would have to deal with plenty in this fight) for almost the whole round. The second was more of the same; Sandhagen shot for a takedown early, Vera attempted a guillotine off of it, which didn't last, and he was then held down and hit with ground and pound til there was a minute left in the round.
They actually spent Round 3 standing the whole time, and Chito began to look more like himself and opened up, but Sandhagen was still getting the better of the exchanges and won the round on my card. Marlon just couldn't track Cory down to hit him with combinations, and you could see the frustration building in him more and more as he swung and missed. It was almost vintage Dominick Cruz esque from Cory, footwork wise.
Chito opened the fourth by stuffing a couple takedowns in a row, which was a great sign for him, but he once again struggled with actually getting active against Sandhagen, whose side-to-side movement was just tremendous. Even in his post-fight interview, Chito admitted that he just never felt like he could get started in there. Sandhagen fought the perfect technical but also awkward fight! We saw more dominance in the fifth, when Sandhagen secured his final takedown of the fight, and Vera tried to swang and bang in the final ten seconds - but it was too little, too late.
Cory Sandhagen vs Merab Dvalishvili is likely next, after a bit of a cringeworthy callout....
....but corny canned lines aside, I can't wait to see who comes out on top of that one. Both guys have some crazy level changes and takedowns in their arsenal and they're both MACHINES - no pun intended.
The UFC may be a bit heartbroken that the path to Chito/Suga Sean II seems a bit tougher now, but Vera will be back - you can bet your ass he ain't outta that title hunt. Bantamweight is just full of absolute KILLERS right now. I bet we'll still see that fight in the next 2-3 years.