Sandhagen vs Yadong
This is a very good fight that I can honestly say that I am stuck on in a few major ways. I have a ton of respect for both men for many different reasons. For Cory, it is more his style. The guy has a clear style which incorporates bits and pieces of selected styles. You can really see in his fighting a resemblance in some notable fighters. It is like he picked elements of training partners that he really liked, trimmed the fat, and injected it into his tool bag. One notable name in TJ Dillashaw. There is a clean resemblance in style here. His movements, his angle manipulations, and his ability to keep a pace that most can’t figure out in 15 or even 25 minutes in some spots. Although I feel that TJ is the better fighter of the 2, I feel that the style fits the stature of Sandhagen more. The Length, the range, the ability to hold space, and other things. Dillashaw fights with a taller and longer man’s style and sometimes his chin takes the brunt of that. Being dynamic when you aren’t long and wiry can leave you exposed to things that are hard to avoid when you mix the 2. Sandhagen, fits this style much better. With a record of 14-4, he has 6 KOS and 3 Submissions. In his 4 losses, he has only been finished 1 time. Even though he lost his last 2, there was something to be said about the Dillashaw loss. I did pick Dillashaw and I am obviously happy he won, but it was a split decision and you can make an argument either way. In my eyes, when you have a clear split decision, that was rightfully expected, NOBODY WINS OR LOSES THAT FIGHT. So did we learn that Dillashaw is the clear better fighter? No. We learned that on that night, he edged Cory out slightly. Cory has beaten some very very good opposition, but when it came to the top of the heap, he came up a bit short. Yan, Dillashaw, Sterling. 3 of the best in the division, and he lost. It does not take away the fact that Cory was competitive in all of them except for 1 which was with Sterling. Now, I am not of the belief that Sandhagen is going to be stuck in the mud as one of those fighters that can never get over the hump, because I do believe he is plenty good enough to break that trend. He takes on Yadong, who seems to be the new shiny prospect for China, and I really like this kid. A very good athlete with solid power and a very good skill set. With an overall record of 19-6, He has 8 wins by way of KO and 3 Wins by way of Submission. In his 6 losses, he has only been finished 1 time by KO. What people seem to fail to forget is that he is only 24 years of age. The kid is super talented, but he is still raw and has plenty of room to grow into his body more and into his game more. There is a clear reason why China is excited about this kid. There is also clear justification on why Dana White and the UFC are as well. Not only because they have a very young and talented prospect on their hands, but because he taps a different demographic that allows more eyes internationally. Its all about money ladies and gents. Its all about money. With that said, the problem is the matchup. Yes they are both strikers, but it is the style of striking that may give Yadong issues here. He is going to be at a reach disadvantage here and even though it is only 3 inches, it’s the way Sandhagen fights that makes him longer than he actually is. Sure he will float into space and pocket exchange with you briefly, but he will also drift away and throw as he is changing the trajectory of his movements. Sandhagen is ultra crafty and unless you really understand the angle and real estate game, it is not easy pinning him down. Although Yadong is a very good striker with good heat as well, he is a fighter that is very fundamental. He isn’t going to be flashy and take many crazy chances. He is much more tied down and grounded in his striking. Not the craziest footwork, moves just enough to get to where he needs to be and then plants and opens up. That’s a tough sell against the ever moving style of Sandhagen. I think this is a great fight with many twists and turns along the way. Sadong will surely have his spots, but it’s not going to be enough here.
The Pick: Sandhagen by way of Decision
Sandhagen vs Yadong