Exclusive: Cory Sandhagen outlines why he expects to "get a finish" against Umar Nurmagomedov at UFC Abu Dhabi

Cory Sandhagen (left) predicts he'll finish Umar Nurmagomedov (right) in their upcoming bout. [Image Courtesy: @ufc via Instagram]

Cory Sandhagen just did a sitdown with Sportskeeda's own James Lynch in an exclusive interview, during which 'The Sandman' predicted a win over the undefeated Umar Nurmagomedov. The pair face off at the UFC Abu Dhabi card on Aug. 3 in a bout that could change the complexion of the bantamweight division.

Despite Nurmagomedov's undefeated record of 17 straight wins, Sandhagen is hardly intimidated by the prospect of taking on a foe that has quickly become his division's boogeyman. Not only is he confident in his chances, but he also believes he will finish Nurmagomedov.

"I think as long as I work my *ss off, I could definitely get a finish in this one. I definitely don't want to go in and... I want this fight to be one that, like, drops people's jaws. Like, I want people to be like, 'Wow, Cory is that good. Like, man, I didn't know Cory could grapple like that. I didn't know that he could fundamentally break someone down in striking the way that he did.'"

Not only does Sandhagen believe that he can contend with the feared Dagestani school of wrestling, but he also touts his evolution as a fighter as a potential factor in his upcoming bout with Nurmagomedov.

"I mean, people have seen that from me before, but they haven't seen my high high-level grappling, so I'm really excited to show that. I also think that, with the additions I've made since the elbow's been hurt, are going to play a big factor in this. I definitely added some heat onto a lot of the things that I'm doing."

Check out Cory Sandhagen's comments about fighting Umar Nurmagomedov (19:42):


Sandhagen is right to feel confident about the prospect of beating Nurmagomedov. First, there is a massive disparity in their rankings, with 'The Sandman' being the No.2-ranked bantamweight in the division, while Nurmagomedov is currently ranked No.10.

Sandhagen has also beaten former champions and much higher-level opposition. So, it will be up to 'The Young Eagle' to prove himself against the odds.

Cory Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov were scheduled to fight in the past

This isn't the first time that Cory Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov have been pitted against each other. Last year, they were scheduled for an Aug. 5 clash on UFC on ESPN 50. Unfortunately, Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw from the matchup due to injury and was replaced by Rob Font.

Sandhagen won the fight via unanimous decision to extend his win streak, which he will put on the line against Nurmagomedov's unbeaten 17-0 run on Aug. 3 in Abu Dhabi.

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Edited by C. Naik
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