Cory Sandhagen gives hilarious reason for accepting Umar Nurmagomedov fight at UFC Nashville 

Cory Sandhagen wants you to know this: He is that guy.

By: Kristen King | 3 months ago
Cory Sandhagen gives hilarious reason for accepting Umar Nurmagomedov fight at UFC Nashville 
Cory Sandhagen at UFC 241 weigh-ins | IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Umar Nurmagomedov is one of the most avoided fighters in the UFC, so why did Cory Sandhagen accept a fight against him? Allow him to answer. This past Thursday, UFC president Dana White announced Sandhagen vs. Nurmagomedov would headline UFC Nashville, the upcoming Fight Night event scheduled for Aug. 5 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

“This is as high level of a fight as you can get,” said White. “It is what I love about making fights like this. You have two of the very best in the world facing off in the prime of their careers. Ladies and gentlemen, you do not want to miss this one.”

Cory Sandhagen: I‘m a beast

Most fans and fighters praised Cory Sandhagen for accepting a fight against Nurmagomedov, but some were confused as to why he would agree to a lower-ranked opponent. For the ’Sandman,’ the answer was simple.

“Hey, I know you guys saw the announcement. I’m fighting August 5 against Umar Nurmagomedov,” said Sandhagen in an Instagram video. “I’m getting a lot of haters, saying, ‘why would you fight this far down in the rankings?’ He’s going to beat my ass, blah, blah, blah. Two reasons. One, Umar is a great fighter and I’m not trying to be world champ if I’m not the actual best in the entire world. So fighting Umar is a great challenge and I accept it.

“And No. 2? Because I’m a beast b—h,” continued Sandhagen. “That’s why. Peace, I’ll see you guys in Nashville.” 

Dana White discussed difficulty finding Umar Nurmagomedov a fight

UFC president Dana White previously said that the promotion had a tough time finding an opponent for Umar Nurmagomedov, who has stayed on the sidelines since his first-round KO of Raoni Barcelos at UFC Vegas 67 this past January. 

“Everybody is asking about him,” said White at the UFC 288 post-fight press conference. “We were talking about him earlier. That’s a guy not everybody is beating the door down to fight. We’ll figure something out with him. 

“[it’s tough to find Nurmagomedov a fight] 100 percent,” continued White. “Especially when — it’s always hard when you have these guys that are in the top ten, you start going, seven, six, five, four and then this guy is behind them. Nobody wants to take that risk on a guy that isn’t ranked [in the top ten]. It’s tough. Those are the fights that publicly everybody says they’ll take, but privately, no one wants to take him.”

Umar Nurmagomedov‘s recent run in the UFC

Since his arrival to the UFC, Umar Nurmagomedov has finished three of his four opponents. The ‘Young Eagle’ added Sergey Morozov, Brian Kelleher and the aforementioned Barcelos to his résumé, improving his record to 16-0.

After the Barcelos win, the UFC was preparing to give Nurmagomedov a step up in competition, as a fight with Merab Dvalishvili was rumored to headline UFC Charlotte in May. The ‘Machine’ declined due to injury, so the promotion went in a different direction. Now, the younger cousin of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has Sandhagen in his sights. 

In his most recent UFC appearances, Sandhagen has defeated Song Yadong and Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera at UFC Vegas 60 and UFC San Antonio, respectively. 

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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