Cory Sandhagen started his combat sports journey as a kickboxer. Sandhagen had a successful kickboxing career that resulted in him winning the WKA world title before transitioning to MMA in the early 2010s.
Sandhagen made his amateur MMA debut in 2012 at FTW: The Warriors against Daymar Ortiz. He next defeated Seth Rodenbaugh at ROF: Buckley MMA Fight Night and lost to Brandon Heredia at FTW: Hooligans via split decision. Sandhagen won his next amateur bout at FTW 8 against Jorge Dominguez. After the victory, he turned professional in 2015.
Cory Sandhagen made his professional debut at FTW 9 against Bruce Sessman. Cory won the fight in the first-round rear-naked choke. Following this, he went up to Featherweight to fight Andrew Tenneson at RFA 34. Sandhagen defeated Tenneson via unanimous decision and then defeated Dalton Goddard at Paramount MMA 2016. He then got his first title fight as he fought Josh Huber at Sparta Combat League 50 for the SCL Featherweight Championship. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
Sandhagen won his next fight at RFA 43 before signing up with Legacy Fighting Alliance. Sandhagen went 2-1 in the promotion before leaving it to sign up with the UFC in 2018.
Cory Sandhagen UFC
Cory Sandhagen made his UFC debut against Austin Arnett at UFC on Fox: Jacare vs. Brunson 2. Cory dominated Arnett and TKO'ed him in the second round via punches.
Sandhagen went to Bantamweight in the UFC for his next fight against Iuri Alcantara at UFC Fight Night: Gaethje vs. Vick. Sandhagen outclassed Iuri as he scored the victory via TKO in the second round. Sandhagen won his next 3-fights in the promotion before fighting Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250. Sterling exposed Sandhagan's grappling game as he submitted the Sandman inside 90-seconds via rear-naked choke.
Cory bounced back from the Sterling fight as he fought Marlon Moraes and main-evented a UFC card for the first time. Sandhagen TKO'ed Moraes in the second round with a spinning wheel kick. He followed it by defeating UFC veteran in 28 seconds with a flying knee knockout.
Sandhageg next fought returning UFC veteran TJ Dillashaw at UFC on ESPN: Dillashaw vs Sandhagen. The fight was an instant classic barnburner that ended with Sandhagen losing via split decision.
Sandhagen next fought Petr Yan for the Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship at UFC 267 as a short-notice replacement to the champion Aljamain Sterling, who had to undergo surgery.
Sandhagen and Yan had a back-and-forth encounter that went to the judges' scorecard. Sandhagen would again come up short as he lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw
Cory Sandhagen fought TJ Dillashaw at UFC on ESPN: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw. In the first round, Sandhagen attempted a flying knee transitioned into a reverse triangle choke. Cory wasn't able to keep Dillashaw in the choke and instead gave up his back to Dillashaw. Dillashaw grappled Sandhagen and held him along the fence in a Khabib-esque fashion while connecting with his knees and leg strikes before Sandhagen escaped. Sandhagen lost the first round because of the grappling.
Cory was on the front foot in the second round as he began to outland Dillashaw with his jabs while Dillashaw suffered the effects of the knee injury. The round ended with TJ gaining control over Cory's back along the fence. Sandhagen lost round 3 because of Dillashaw's superior grappling skills and the fact that Dillashaw did not feel the effect of the knee pop he suffered in the first round.
In round 4, Dillashaw focused more on the grappling while Cory outworked TJ in the striking department while Dillashaw managed to outwrestle Sandhagen coupled with some strikes of his own. The round was close as the judges could have given the round to any fighter.
Round 5 was a striking slugfest that saw both sides exchange boxing combos with Dillashaw getting momentary control over Sandhagen with his takedown attempts.
In the end, Cory Sandhagen lost the fight via split decision.
Cory Sandhagen vs. Petr Yan
Cory Sandhagen fought Petr Yan at UFC 267 for the Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship. Cory started the first round aggressively and invested in heavy strikes mixed with jabs to hit Yan and win the round. Yan began to fire up in the second round as he and Cory exchanged strikes throughout the entire second round.
Sandhagen began to go on the back foot in the fight in the 3rd round as he started to get dominated and outworked by Yan's aggressive boxing combos. Yan dropped Sandhagen with a clean spinning back fist in the third round to set the tempo for the remainder of the fight.
In the fourth round, Sandhagen got outstruck in terms of total strikes landed as Yan landed 36 to Sandhagen's 25 landed strikes. Sandhagen dropped the round to Yan due to his inability to match Yan's intensity.
The fifth round was competitive as Sandhagen tried making a comeback with his aggression. However, Petr matched Cory on the aggression level and connected with a head kick in the last seconds of the fight.
In the end, Cory lost the fight via unanimous decision.
credit: MMA Fighting
Cory Sandhagen Career Stats
Cory Sandhagen's current record stands at 14-4. He is currently on a 2-fight losing streak.
Wins by KO/TKO:
Wins by Submission:
Wins by Decision:
70 in (178cm)
135 lb / 61 kg
Cory Sandhagen Last Fight
Cory Sandhagen's last fight was against Petr at UFC 267 for the UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship. Sandhagen lost the fight via Unanimous Decision.
Cory Sandhagen Record
Below is the professional MMA record of Cory Sandhagen: