Cory Sandhagen is not avoiding a fight against Marlon Vera.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Vera revealed that he and Sandhagen were offered to fill in on short notice as the headliner for UFC Vegas 64, the upcoming Fight Night originally expected to be headlined by Bryce Mitchell vs. Movsar Evloev. An injury to Evloev forced him to withdraw, so the UFC removed Mitchell and explored other options instead.
Though he accepted the ‘sexy’ offer, ‘Chito’ told Helwani that Sandhagen declined it, leaving him confused since the ’Sandman’ called him out after his fourth-round TKO of Song Yadong in September.
“Cory’s been calling me out, and then they offered us to fight [on] Nov. 5 because something happened in that main event,” said Vera. “And he didn’t accept the fight. So why you f—king calling me out, Cory Sandhagen? And then you don’t have time to make weight or get ready. Don’t call another man out and then don’t be able to dance.”
Sandhagen has responded to Vera and offered to share the Octagon with him, but only after he has gone through a full training camp.
“We got Chito, who’s trying to make me sound like I’m the guy that’s afraid to fight him,” said Sandhagen on Instagram. “The UFC offered me that fight on three weeks’ notice. It was about a month after I had fought Yadong. Chito, you called out guys in the top five and then fought down in the rankings and fought Cruz. Do I blame you for doing that? Of course I don’t. It’s the draw. But don’t try to make it sound like I’m afraid of you, bro.
“You can get me after a full camp and I’d be glad to whoop your ass sometime around February,” continued Sandhagen.
As for the rest of the bantamweight division, Sandhagen gave his thoughts on what fights should happen next.
“I think with the division, you gotta give O’Malley the title shot,” said Sandhagen. “Hopefully it pays Sterling pretty good. And I hope that they do me and Chito for a No. 1 contender spot. That’s how I hope that the division goes.”
Vera was in action at UFC San Diego, where he knocked out Dominick Cruz by fourth-round head kick.