Cory Sandhagen thinks Aljamain Sterling cannot return to competition within six months of neck surgery, wants concrete rules in place

Aljamain Sterling (Left) and Cory Sandhagen (Right)
Aljamain Sterling (Left) and Cory Sandhagen (Right)
Rajneesh Suhas Reddy

UFC bantamweight Cory Sandhagen thinks the UFC needs to have a concrete framework in place to vacate titles from champions who don't defend them regularly. Sandman's suggestion was in reference to divisional champion Aljamain Sterling's recent neck surgery that is likely to keep him out of competition for the majority of the year.

In a recent interview with Fanatics View, Cory Sandhagen spoke about Aljamain Sterling's health condition and its impact on the bantamweight title picture. Sandhagen said that although he does not have a medical background, he finds it difficult to believe that the champ will be able to make a comeback in a short span of six months after the surgery. The 29-year-old fighter suggested that the UFC needs to have a framework in place so that inactive champions can be stripped of the title and the division can move on. He said:

"I don't really know anything about neck surgeries. But for me it's hard to believe you can have a neck surgery and fight six months later. Seems pretty intense. So, I don't know if he is trying to hang on to it... I don't know any medical or if that is something you can bounce back from in six months or whatever. I don't know..."
"Honestly, i would like the UFC to come up with more of a concrete way of deciding these things. I think that would make things easier to where it's like, 'okay, if you are not going to fight again and... you're not going to defend it in a certain amount of range, then I think that's completely fair to vacate it'. You have a lot of guys in the sport."

Cory Sandhagen's fight against T.J. Dillashaw has been postponed for a later date

Currently ranked No.2 in the bantamweight division, Cory Sandhagen was supposed to fight returning champion T.J. Dillashaw in the main event of UFC Vegas 26 on May 8. The winner of the fight was the most likely candidate for the next shot at the bantamweight title. However, an eye injury forced Dillashaw out of the fight. The matchup will be kept intact and rescheduled for a later date.

Cory Sandhagen, who lost to reigning champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250 in June 2020 via submission, has reinvented himself as a dynamic finisher since the loss. His last fight was a flying knee knockout win over future Hall of Famer Frankie Edgar at UFC Vegas 18 in February 2021. Currently riding a two-fight winning streak, Cory Sandhagen defeated former title challenger Marlon Moraes via spinning wheel kick in October 2020 before his fight with Edgar.

Edited by Prem Deshpande


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