Former two-division champion Henry Cejudo might be retired but the Olympian is still keeping an eye on the UFC bantamweight division, hailing Cory Sandhagen the best 135 pounder in the world right now.
“He’s probably, in my opinion, the best 135 pounder other than me,” Cejudo told MMA Junkie in a recent interview.
Cejudo knows Sandhagen is an extremely talented fighter but ‘The Messenger’ believes he has the perfect formula to beat him, hinting that he would ‘bring the fight’ to the No. 2-ranked bantamweight.
“You just have to learn to bring the fight to Cory Sandhagen,” Cejudo said. “You just gotta bring the fight, that’s it. You cannot give that kid space. He’s extremely dangerous; he’s got talent. But if you don’t bring the fight, he’s gonna get you because there’s one thing that he does know very well, and that’s distance and his composure, which are the things that I look at when I watch a fight.”
Sandhagen is on a two-fight win streak against Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar, finishing both men via highlight reel knockouts to cement himself as one of the most entertaining and dangerous fighters in the division.
Cejudo believes the 28-year-old has earned a title shot with the aforementioned wins but claims Sandhagen could also potentially welcome T.J. Dillashaw back to the octagon now that the latter is eligible to compete again.
“I would wait in line if I were him (Sandhagen),” he said. “I would also wait for T.J. too, because that’s an easy fight for him. The difference between Cory Sandhagen and T.J. Dillashaw, is the fact that he’s better at what Dillashaw does. He’s a lot cleaner; he’s a lot smoother. They have similar styles, but T.J.’s style is a lot more broken, that Duane ‘Bang’ whatever it’s called. So if I was Cory, I would wait. If I was T.J., I would probably try to fight him to get to that title shot.”
Dillashaw is expected to return to the UFC later this year after serving a two-year suspension for EPO use and, although Sandhagen would ideally like to fight the winner of Yan vs. Sterling, the Colorado native is also open to a title eliminator with Dillashaw to determine the next No. 1 contender.
“If it comes down to it, I think I should be the next one fighting for the title, but if we need to eliminate another option, which is T.J., then I’ll fight T.J., and then I’ll fight for the title, too.”