The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to us tonight, August 5, 2023, for UFC Nashville, going down live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Headlining the event was a 140 lb catchweight bout between a pair of bantamweight contenders in no. 4 ranked Cory Sandhagen (17-4) and no. 7 ranked Rob Font (20-7).
Sandhagen was originally slated to face no. 11 ranked Umar Nurmagomedov tonight; however, the Russian contender was forced from the bout earlier this month with a shoulder injury and replaced by Font.
Sandhagen came into the bout on a two-fight win streak, having most recently defeated the likes of no. 8 ranked Song Yadong (TKO) in September of last year, before dominating no. 6 ranked Marlon Vera (SD) earlier this year in March.
Font on the other hand just snapped his two-fight skid to Jose Aldo (UD) and Marlon Vera (UD) in April with his first round stoppage victory over the surging Adrian Yanez (TKO).
Continue reading to see how this epic 140 lb main event clash went down:
Official Result: Cory Sandhagen def. Rob Font via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Sandhagen secures an early takedown once the bout begins, but is immediately locked into a guillotine choke. He defends well, but is eventually swept with a kimura and they’re back to their feet.
Font begins to land his jab, but is taken down easily once again, getting back to his feet shortly thereafter. Font then catches a kick thrown by Sandhagen and puts him on his back with about 20 seconds left in the opening round.
Sandhagen senses the forward momentum of Font and times another takedown beautifully at the start of round two; he’s gotten seriously good at wrestling over this last year or so. It appears he learned a lot from those losses to current champion Aljamain Sterling and former champion TJ Dillashaw. This is looking a lot like his fight with Vera.
Sandhagen remains on top for over four minutes of the second.
Add that to nearly three minutes of top control time in the first and yeah, this has been a dominant performance by Sandhagen through ten minutes. Font attempts sweeps throughout the second, but is unable to secure any.
Sandhagen throws a nice flying knee before shooting in on and securing another takedown 45 seconds into the third round; his fourth takedown in four attempts. It’s not the most entertaining to many, but he’s looks incredible tonight.
About 30 seconds into round four and Font is once again put on his back.
Font makes it to his feet in the final minute for a split second before being tripped right back down. Sandhagen blanketed him this entire fight. The new wrinkle in his game is very reminiscent of Marc Diakiese’s up at 155 lbs, though Sandhagen is doing it against better competition in Vera and now Font.
Font shoots on a takedown attempt early on in the fifth and final round, but is ultimately stuffed and taken down himself. Sandhagen actually comes very close to securing an anaconda choke finish midway through the round, though Font defends well and survives until the final buzzer.
Of the 25 minutes fought Sandhagen must have spent 18 of them on top of Font, it was just a complete mauling and he made it look easy.
— UFC (@ufc) August 6, 2023
Cory Sandhagen improves his win streak to three-straight tonight at UFC Nashville.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!