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Cory Sandhagen Believes Jose Aldo’s UFC 301 Win Is Not Enough For Title Shot Against Sean O’Malley: “There Are Too Many Good Guys”

UFC dropping a major bombshell with its announcement in Abu Dhabi has everyone talking. The event, featuring a five-round fight between Cory Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov, will rip the roof off. But it’s not Sandman’s fight that has become a topic of discussion online. It’s his opinion on Jose Aldo’s future in the UFC!

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on his The MMA Hour podcast, the 32-year-old got real and revealed how Jose Aldo’s return UFC 301 triumph was insufficient to earn the veteran a title shot.

Aldo’s performance shocked the world as he humbled Jonathan Martinez, outpointing the younger fighter in all three rounds. However, it seems like Sandhagen isn’t too impressed. Speaking to Helwani, he gave Aldo props for his performance. But he believes such a performance wasn’t enough to earn him a title shot against Sean O’Malley. He said,

“No way, I love Aldo, man. Aldo is the absolute man, but you can’t come back after retirement and beat a guy far away in the rankings and just fight for the title, like… There are too many good guys in the division for that.”

The #2 bantamweight does indeed have a point here. Despite Aldo showing off his skills and proving he still has it, a title shot against the champion would be a leap too far at this point. Well, Aldo retired in 2022. And while this comeback was quite legendary, there are many fighters lining up ahead of him for that shot at UFC gold.

Take a look at the rankings and you’ll see Sandhagen’s point.

Besides him, Merab Dvalishvili, Petr Yan, etc. all want a piece of the action, a shot at the belt and that makes perfect sense. The Georgian is now the No. 1 contender, next in line to challenge O’Malley for the gold, and the Siberian has been craving a rematch since his controversial loss to the Montana native at UFC 280 in 2022.

The Sandman is not wrong. However, when Sandhagen was offered the match he wanted with the Dagestani, the American also opened up about exploiting a chink in Nurmagomedov’s armor.

Sandhagen will exploit Nurmagomedov’s vulnerability at UFC Abu Dhabi

Bantamweight contenders Cory Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov will finally touch the gloves inside the cage in Abu Dhabi in a five-round stunner scheduled for August. Although this fight was booked last year, Nurmagomedov’s untimely injury canceled the bout until the promotion decided to rebook it on August 3.

With UFC finally giving him what he wants, ‘The Sandman’ couldn’t contain his excitement. Speaking to Demetrious Johnson, aka ‘The Mighty Mouse’ on his YouTube channel, Sandhagen mentioned the AKA fighter’s apparent weakness; his gas tank.

“From a strategic point of view, I really want to fight Umar in a five-round fight because he was breathing heavily in his last (fight). He worked hard though, so I’ll give him that: it was well within reality for him to be so tired.

By taking advantage of his opponent’s soft underbelly, taking the fight to the Dagestani and imposing his will on him, Sandhagen plans to knock that 0 off his resume, handing him his first defeat in the UFC. But if there’s something about that Dagestan soil, because that 0 is harder to erase than you could fathom.