After highlight knockout at UFC Vegas 18, what’s next for Cory Sandhagen?

June 5, 2020; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cory Sandhagen during weigh ins for UFC 250 at the UFC APEX. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

One of the most highly anticipated matchups at UFC Vegas 18 was the bantamweight matchup between Cory Sandhagen (14-2) and Frankie Edgar (24-9-1). This fight was looked at as a title eliminator in the UFC‘s bantamweight division.

Going into the fight, I was really leaning towards Frankie Edgar. Yes, Edgar is the much older fighter and Sandhagen has so much promise. However, there’s just something about Edgar that makes it hard to bet against sometimes.

I figured that Edgar’s pressure and activity levels would be enough to score a decision. However, I was completely wrong about the outcome. Like I expected, Edgar came out at UFC Vegas 18 with a lot of pressure.

In the opening seconds, Sandhagen was already on his bicycle on the outside. Sandhagen did a good job of landing some good calf kicks that prevented an Edgar entry early on. Then, as soon as Edgar made his move inside, Sandhagen launched with a gorgeous flying knee.

The knee landed flush on Edgar’s chin and the former UFC lightweight champion went crashing to the canvas. That knee was so beautifully timed and it made a statement from Cory Sandhagen to the UFC‘s bantamweight division.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 18?

There is only one possible thing next for Cory Sandhagen after UFC Vegas 18. That one thing is a title shot. There is nothing left for Sandhagen to do after that performance on Saturday night.

Next month at UFC 259, Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling will battle it out for the bantamweight championship. Whoever wins that night will be the next man to take on Cory Sandhagen inside the octagon.

There is already history between Sandhagen and Aljamain Sterling (19-3). Sterling dismantled Sandhagen last June and choked him unconscious in under 90 seconds to earn his UFC title shot. A rematch between the two would be fun.

Of course, then you have the champion, Petr Yan (15-1). Yan has all the makings of a guy who can be champion for a long time. However, to do that, he’s going to have to defeat Sterling and Sandhagen next. An extremely tall order for the UFC champion.