Cory Sandhagen will see himself as the real champion with UFC 267 win: ‘Aljamain had to retreat’ – MMA Root

Cory Sandhagen will see himself as the real champion with UFC 267 win: ‘Aljamain had to retreat’

ABU DHABI – Saturday’s co-main event at UFC 267 may be billed as an interim title fight, but Corey Sandhagen and Petr Yan view their bantamweight bout as if the UFC champion would be the winner.

“I think Aljamain [Sterling] had to retreat and TJ [Dillashaw]The village is still on fire since I set it on fire. So if we’re talking about ancient war-style things, and I like watching this game – it’s just fun for me to do it that way – I’m the guy who can take over the land, ”Sandhagen said at UFC 267. Media Day.

“Those two guys can’t now. I’m a guy who can take land. So I will consider myself a champion. I know that most of the public still thinks Jan is a champion. I know I’ll definitely have to make up a little bit – as if I still have to make up for my two defeats against Aljamain and against TJ – but I’ll go home with a smile on my face and call myself champion if I win. “

Sandhagen’s words echoed the same sentiments that Yang expressed on Monday on the TV channel. MMA hour – and this is not entirely a surprise given the strange state of division.

The image of the UFC bantamweight title has been stuck in stagnation since Ian and Sterling’s UFC 259 title fight ended with Sterling winning DQ due to Ian’s illegal knee kick. During the illegal strike, Sterling lost on the protocols and lost in the championship rounds. He underwent neck surgery following the fight, and his return to defend his UFC title is still in limbo after he was deemed unfit for UFC 267.

Sterling’s failure paved the way for Sandhagen, who replaced Ian, and now the Colorado native finds himself in a unique setting. Even if Sterling’s neck problems persist – as Dillashaw recently suggested – they could turn out to be – Sandhagen could find himself with an intermediate strap at his waist and potential revenge in all directions he looks. Both Sterling and Dillashaw have beaten Sandhagen over the past few years, Sterling did so by filing an 88-second bid in June 2020, and Dillashaw won a controversial split over Sandhagen in July this year.

Sandhagen reveled in the chance to avenge any of them.

“It would be great if it worked out this way,” Sandhagen said. “I think it just sucks having these two Ls on my track record because the Sterling fight was shitty and awkward for me, so I would definitely like to show that I am definitely better than this guy, and I had a night that just wasn’t good. And the same with TJ where I lost the solution which was it’s closeand, to be honest, maybe things could have gone the other way. I definitely came out of the cage a lot less beaten than TJ, so it makes me feel a little weird.

“But no, man, I think it would be great if I could avenge those two losses right after becoming champion, and I think it says even more about how good I am at this sport.” …

Despite the setbacks, Sandhagen heads to UFC 267, winning seven of his nine appearances in the UFC. He is currently ranked fourth in bantamweight in the global MMA Fighting rankings, while Jan is ranked first in equal measure with Sterling.

Ian gently praised Sandhagen before the fight, calling the American “a very good and versatile fighter,” but Ian also argued that Sandhagen is inferior to him in all aspects that Sandhagen calls his strong point. The former champion predicted a finish at UFC 267 and vowed to pull it off. [Sandhagen] into deep waters. “

Sandhagen’s answer is simple: bring it.

“He tries to do it with everyone. Right? It’s really no surprise, ”Sandhagen said. “So yeah, okay, go on.”