UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Font is tonight and the card in Nashville is actually really good. The main event has fireworks written all over it as Cory Sandhagen and Rob Font do their best to insert themselves into the bantamweight title picture. And the co-main has Tatiana Suarez looking to realize her potential against former champion Jessica Andrade.
The BE staff has looked at all these match-ups and made our picks. Now it’s time for the readers to do the same. Read below to see who the BE readers think will win tonight. There’s also extra analysis from Luke G, Chong Li and DJNi.
Reader picks are an exclusive perk for Substack subscribers. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the Bloody Elbow Substack. Paid subscriptions on Substack are the best way to support Bloody Elbow and make sure we can keep doing what we’re doing. In addition to making reader picks (which could earn prizes), paid subscribers also receive premium content directly in their email inboxes. That premium content includes editorials by Karim Zidan and Jonathan Snowden and investigative pieces from John S. Nash.
UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Font readers’ picks
Cory Sandhagen vs. Rob Font
Readers’ pick: Cory Sandhagen (92.3%)
Chong Li: While Font had a good showing in his last fight against Adrian Yanez, Sandhagen simply has too many weapons to win this fight. I do expect Cory’s chin to be tested – and to hold up. Cory by UD.
DJNi: Since since 2018 Cory Sandhagen has only lost to 2 former champions and the current champion at bantam weight. One of those losses was a split decision. Cory is exceptionally good and so far only those that had or achieve gold have beaten him. So I’m gonna pick him.
Luke G: Sandhagen. I think Cory has all the things to neutralize Font. He can set a pace, extend combos, land with power, and mix in some wrestling. When both these fellas step into the pocket I expect some magic but I see more ways for Cory to come out looking better than Rob. I’m envisioning a similar fight to Chito/Font but a higher pace and a wrestling advantage. It’s likely Font has some good minutes but I foresee big moments going Cory’s way and winning rounds.
Jessica Andrade vs. Tatiana Suarez
Readers’ pick: Tatiana Suarez (100%)
Chong Li: Tatiana has been riddled with injuries, which has really hindered her MMA career – but her saving grace here will be Andrade’s tendency to sometimes crash forward into the clinch. Tatiana is taller, longer, and probably far more dangerous in that position with her grappling and takedowns. As long as she can keep her chin tucked and guard up, I’m hesitantly picking Suarez to simply out muscle Andrade on way to a finish. Tatiana is currently showing as a heavy favorite, but I think that’s really dismissive of Andrade’s experience, versatility, and power, while overstating Tatiana’s striking defense . I’m taking a leap of possibly misplaced faith and I know that. Tatiana Suarez by submission.
DJNi: I’m gonna take Andrade basically for strength. I’m not confident though she has not looked great but neither has Tatiana.
Luke G: Suarez. Andrade just seems really off these days, but I am surprised the betting line is as wide as it is. Suarez looked good but not great in her return. I’m going to blame ring rust until I see otherwise. It worries me that injuries may have changed her wrestling game and Andrade’s physicality is a lot for anyone but I’m going to hesitantly take her here.
Dustin Jacoby vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu
Readers’ pick: Dustin Jacoby (61.5%)
Chong Li: Da Un Jung smoked Kennedy Nzechukwu with standing elbows but lost to Dustin Jacoby right after. Now Jacoby, after 2 decision losses to Azamat Murzakanov and Khalil Rountree, probably is under a bit of pressure to prevent that 3rd loss in a row. He’s got a tall test in Kennedy Nzechukwu, who is going to come in only 2 inches taller, but with a 7 inch reach advantage. Dustin Jacoby has far more experience, but Nzechukwu is a powerhouse. MMA Math says Jacoby wins in this toss-up fight, but Nzechukwu is on a bit of a roll. Nzechukwu by coin flip.
DJNi: Kennedy Nzechukwu basically for his size advantage and because of Jacoby’s tentativeness.
Luke G: Nzechukwu. I don’t actually think I’m making the smart pick here. I think Jacoby is a far more consistent fighter than anyone Kennedy has a win over. Good chance Jacoby wins some rounds but I have this vision of Kennedy nuking him in the middle of a winning fight.
Gavin Tucker vs. Diego Lopes
Readers’ pick: Diego Lopes (76.9%)
Chong Li: This fight should be fantastic, possibly one of the best on the card. I’m picking Diego Lopes by however he wants.
DJNi: Diego Lopes because I was impressed with him in has last fight that was short notice and Diego is 37. Around that age I start wondering will we see decline in their game or how much they have they already lost a step.
Luke G: Lopes. I don’t want to overrate a guy in a loss but man did Diego look good against Evloev on short notice. He solidly out grappled a guy most people considered one of the best in the division and Tucker’s ground game isn’t exactly flawless. Tucker’s age and lack of activity concern me at this point and frankly I want to pick the guy who looks like he’s going to blast Brand New’s ‘The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me’ after he wins.
Tanner Boser vs. Aleksa Camur
Readers’ pick: Tanner Boser (92.3%)
Chong Li: Tanner Boser has not had the best couple of years in MMA, and was brutally finished by Ion Cutelaba in the first round of their April 15th, 2023 fight. I still think he’s got the power to finish Camur if he comes ready.
DJNi: I don’t trust Tanner Boser at light heavyweight. So I’m picking Aleksa Camur. I’m not confident in this or several on this card and that is a good thing. Close match ups can make solid fights.
Luke G: Camur. I am just really not sold on Boser’s move down in weight. He lived on the fact he had cardio and could beat other heavyweights late when they were breathing heavy. That’s basically nonexistent at LHW and I’m unlikely to take him against just about anyone.
Ignacio Bahamondes vs. L’udovit Klein
Readers’ pick: Ignacio Bahamondes (92.3%)
Chong Li: Klein is probably a bit underrated, but I’m picking Bahamondes by UD.
DJNi: I’ll take Ignacio Bahmondes he’s got the reach, height and the ability to defend the take downs.
Luke G: Bahamondes. I’m not picking anyone who let Jai Herbert win a third round even if a low blow made it a draw.
Raoni Barcelos vs. Kyler Phillips
Readers’ pick: Kyler Phillips (84.6%)
Chong Li: Kyler Phillips by Neo/Matrix magic.
DJNi: Kyler phillips. I’m taking him based on striking ability, age, and the belief he’s getting better. Barcelos is 36 years old which is getting old in terms of combat sports.
Luke G: Phillips. Honestly I’m making this pick largely on Raoini’s age. Bantam is unforgiving as fighters slow down and this feels like a set up to get Kyler a solid veteran win as a comeback fight from suspension.
Jeremiah Wells vs. Carlston Harris
Readers’ pick: Jeremiah Wells (69.2%)
Chong Li: Jeremiah Wells is just a more consistent fighter, but this is another toss-up.
DJNi: Jeremiah Wells. I think he’s faced better competition. Sounds like this one might get a little crazy so who knows but I’ll go with the better test fighter.
Luke G: Harris. Jeremiah Wells is an incredibly strong wrestler. Focus on strong not necessarily good. I’ll take the boxer just because.
Billy Quarantillo vs. Damon Jackon
Readers’ pick: Billy Quarantillo
Chong Li: Another toss-up fight… great matchmaking. Damon Jackson by sub.
DJNi: I’m thinking Billy’s striking will get it done. In his last fight he stopped Edson Barbosa. He’ll need to keep it standing but I think he can pull it off.
Luke G: Quarantillo. Why is this fight buried on the prelims? I really really grappled with my choice here. I’m gonna side with Quarantillo because he’s seems like a slightly superior striker but there’s no outcome in this fight that will surprise me.
Jake Hadley vs. Cody Durden
Readers’ pick: Jake Hadley (61.5%)
Chong Li: Jake “White Kong” Hadley.. what a nickname. That win over Malcolm Gordon made me a fan. Jake in another close fight.
DJNi: I’m gonna take Hadley he seems like he’s got finishing skills while Durden seems to get more decisions.
Luke G: Hadley. I don’t like Durden and I’m going to break the rules and bank on him wrestling himself blind into a Hadley guard submission.
Ode Osbourne vs. Asu Almabaev
Readers’ pick: Asu Almabaev (61.5%)
Chong Li: Asu Almabaev by sub in his first UFC appearance. He’s got holes in his game, but he’s on a roll, and I expect him to be just too much for Ode Osbourne. Asu will drag him into deep water, and drowned him.
DJNi: I’m going to take Ode Osbourne. He has an 8inch reach advantage and seems to have only lost the from striking recently.
Luke G: Almabaev. No real read here other than not being incredibly impressed with Ode. I’ll take the prospect.
Which two fighters win Performance of the Night?
Readers’ pick: Cory Sandhagen (69.9%), Tatiana Suarez (30.8%) and Diego Lopes (30.8%).
DJNi: Billy Quarantillo for his KO and Jeremiah Wells also for his KO.
Luke G: Sandhagen and Hadley. I think Sandman has the chance to get himself right back into title contention with a well rounded dismantling of Font. Hadley is just a wild man that I think might throw caution to the wind and get himself 50k being gnarly.
Which fight wins Fight of the Night?
Readers’ pick: Cory Sandhagen vs. Rob Font (61.5%)
Chong Li: Cory Sandhagen Vs. Rob Font – there’s just too much offensive wizardry here to not enjoy this.
DJNi: Cory Sandhagen vs Rob Font. It’s an action fight with very skilled professionals.
Luke G: Quarantillo and Jackson. I smell a people’s main event cooking.
Which fight are you most looking forward to?
Readers pick: Cody Sandhagen vs. Rob Font (69.2%).
Chong Li: Diego Lopes, please be as good as I think you are. (Fingers crossed)
DJNi: Cory Sandhagen vs Rob Font. I always enjoy watching Cory fight. He’s a guy that come to do damage and he’s good at it.
Luke G: Sandhagen and Font. I will never not be excited for a ranked bantamweight main event.
Christophe continues to lead the way in our readers’ picks standings. He went 7-4 last week, as did a few of our top 20.
|Position||Community Member||Correct||Incorrect||Total Picks||%||Week 18 Record||Bonus Points|
You know you can count on us for quick, consistent quality UFC coverage. Bloody Elbow is an independent, reader supported publication. Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our best work and learn how you can support the site.
About the author