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Cory Sandhagen values beating "the best guys in the world" more than winning UFC bantamweight belt

UFC Fight Night: Moraes v Sandhagen
UFC Fight Night: Moraes v Sandhagen
Modified 27 Dec 2020, 08:34 IST

UFC bantamweight rising star Cory Sandhagen envisions himself among the great. In an interview with MMA Junkie, Sandhagen showed that he has a different opinion regarding being a UFC champion than most other fighters.

Sandhagen declared that his main goal in his career is to beat the "best guys" and that the belt is nothing but a consequence. The next in line for the American is the former UFC bantamweight champion, Frankie Edgar, on February 6, 2021.

"Of course I want to be a world champion, but I think I value higher just beating the best guys in the world," Sandhagen asserted. "That's why I'm really excited to fight Frankie because that would be a really big notch in my belt, and it would add to the resume even more," said Sandhagen.

Starting his UFC career with five straight wins against tough opponents such as John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao, Sandhagen looked like he was on his way to the belt. But a defeat to Aljamain Sterling this year via rear-naked choke submission at UFC 250 stopped Sandhagen's unbeatable streak.

It could have been the end of his title aspirations, but the number two bantamweight contender put himself back up only four months later when he took Marlon Moraes out of his way to the top of the division's ranking.

"I was supposed to say that [happened] this year, but that didn't happen this year. So, yeah, hopefully, it will happen next year. I am kind of in a groove where I am not being too obsessive about any of that stuff," Sandhagen declared. "I think that it locks up my mind too much, and it makes me uncreative. It doesn't do a lot for me in my life other than creating stress that doesn't really need to be there. Although that stress is a good stress, in the past, it is kind of become something that's a little too distracting," said Sandhagen.

Although every fighter's ambition is to be a champion, Sandhagen thinks that becoming one is just a consequence of being the best by defeating every other good player in the game. Not every champion becomes a legend, and writing his name in the history books is what motivates him. 

"I am big, and I value very highly fighting the guys I see as some of the best guys in the world, and that is what I want to do in the sport," said Sandhagen. "If I am a world champion, I think that will happen in time, but I am more concerned with fighting the best guys so I can be the best fighter that I can by the time I retire," said Sandhagen.

Other names in the UFC Fight Night event in February


UFC returns in 2021 with maybe the most anticipated main event of the year. UFC 257 on January 23 will have Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier fighting for a better position in the UFC lightweight division, eyeing a possible championship.

But February is also starting to become an exciting month for UFC fans. Many intriguing matchups are already drawn for the event happening on February 6, with a venue yet to be announced.

Here is the fight card for the UFC Fight Night event on February 6 until the moment:

Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov (heavyweight)

Michael Johnson vs. Clay Guida (lightweight)

Karol Rosa vs. Nicco Montaño (bantamweight)

Marion Reneau vs. Macy Chiasson (bantamweight)

Aliaskhab Khizriev vs. Wellington Turman (middleweight)

Mike Rodriguez vs. Danilo Marques (light heavyweight)

Julio Arce vs. Timur Valiev (bantamweight)

Seung Woo Choi vs. Steven Peterson (bantamweight)

Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Beneil Dariush (lightweight)

Cory Sandhagen vs. Frankie Edgar (bantamweight)

Devonte Smith vs. Alex Leko (lightweight)

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Manel Kape (flyweight)

Published 27 Dec 2020, 08:34 IST
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