UFC Abu Dhabi will be headlined by Cory Sandhagen – Umar Nurmagomedov

Aug 16, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Cory Sandhagen during weigh ins for UFC 241 at Anaheim Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC is returning to Abu Dhabi in August for a Fight Night and this morning, the promotion announced it’s main event. Top bantamweights will go head-to-head as former interim title challenger Cory Sandhagen (17-4) will take on Umar Nurmagomedov (17-0).

This matchup was originally supposed to headline a UFC Fight Night last August, but Nurmagomedov had to pull out of the fight. Now, almost a year to the date of their original fight, the two will finally meet. Nurmagomedov is getting the biggest test of his UFC career thus far.

Nurmagomedov signed with the promotion back in 2021 and has gone a perfect 5-0 thus far inside the octagon. Getting him fights have been an issue as there’s not been many willing to sign the dotted line to face Nurmagomedov. However, Sandhagen is willing to get in there with the unbeaten sensation and risk his spot at the top of the division.

UFC Abu Dhabi

Cory Sandhagen ended up facing Rob Font the night he was supposed to face Nurmagomedov. In that fight, Sandhagen tore his tricep and really couldn’t throw a ton of shots. As a result, he ended up relying on his wrestling and just controlled Font over the course of five rounds. Wasn’t appealing to the fans, but he did what he had to do.

That was his third straight win. Prior to that, he had defeated Song Yadong and Chito Vera. Sandhagen is once again knocking on the door of a title shot and I think the UFC will give him one should he beat Nurmagomedov in August. Sean O’Malley is tentatively scheduled to face Merab Dvalishvili next but if both him and Sandhagen win, that would be a fascinating matchup for the UFC bantamweight strap.

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