Cory Sandhagen wants to take on Merab Dvalishvili next rather than following the simplest route to attain UFC championship

After defeating Marlon Vera at UFC San Antonio, Cory Sandhagen hoped for an advantageous position. Even after a convincing win, he still waits for the coming championship fight between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo at UFC 288, with Sean O’Malley patiently waiting as the likely next No. 1 contender.

Prior to the fight, Sandhagen intended to call out O’Malley but changed his attention to Dvalishvili in the aftermath of his victory, and he believes a future showdown with Dvalishvili is inevitable since the Georgian has no intention of fighting Sterling, his friend and training partner. Sandhagen understands that he might have to face a longer and tougher path to the championship to be the best martial artist he can be and climb straight up the mountain.

While O’Malley is next in line for the title shot, Dvalishvili’s win over Yan makes him Sandhagen’s preferred opponent. Sandhagen expressed uncertainty as to why Sterling and Cejudo seem eager to fight O’Malley instead of him or Dvalishvili. However, he believes that the UFC wants O’Malley to fight for the belt, which is why he is the likely next contender.

Sandhagen also reiterated that he wants to fight before his wedding in September to give his fiancée a break from his sporadic fight schedule. Sandhagen can fight up to his wedding date, but he would rather compete before that date to give his fiancée peace of mind.


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