UFC: Frankie Edgar Eyes Title Shot With Win Over Cory Sandhagen
With an impressive win over Cory Sandhagen next weekend, Frankie Edgar believes he has a chance to fight for the UFC bantamweight title next.
After his successful bantamweight debut against Pedro Munhoz at UFC Vegas 7 last August, Edgar is set to compete against Sandhagen in the co-main event at UFC Vegas 18, headlined by heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov.
Speaking on ‘Real Quick with Mike Swick’ podcast (as transcribed by MMA Junkie), Edgar said that he believes his fight with Sandhagen is a potential title eliminator, with the winner getting a chance to fight either the reigning champion Petr Yan or Aljamain Sterling, who are set to face off at UFC 259.
“To me, this really could be a number one contender fight,” Edgar said. “He’s number two, I’m right behind him. Aljo (Sterling) and Petr Yan just got booked, I believe March 6th, so it’s a perfect time. We fight the month before these guys; see what happens with them and then hopefully the winner of ours gets the winner of that.”
Fighting Bigger Opponents
When the two step inside the Octagon at UFC Vegas 18, Sandhagen will have a size and reach advantage, but the 39 year old, who is a former UFC lightweight champion and a two-time featherweight title challenger, is no stranger to fighting bigger opponents.
“Cory’s a tall guy, which is kind of good. I’m used to fighting bigger guys, so it’s not going to be anything new to me, but I can’t let him get his range going, I can’t stand at the end of his punches,” Edgar shared. “I’ve got to either be all the way out or all the way in. Everybody knows that; it’s really no secret. I’ve just got to kind of have a gritty Frankie Edgar-type of fight and go do what I do and just make it happen.”
Making A Statement
The UFC’s bantamweight division is arguable the most stacked division in the promotion currently, and Edgar understands that he needs to make a statement if he wants to earn a title shot.
“The ’35-pound division is really hot right now,” Edgar said. “I’ve got to go in there and make a statement. I’ve got to go in there and finish Cory if I want to get that title shot, and that’s what I’ve been working on this whole camp: Going in there, pressuring him, and really making him wilt in there and showing some experience. I have more experience than anybody in this game for the most part. [There’s] not too many older fighters than me in the UFC right now, so I’ve got to utilise that to my best ability and make this happen.”
While Edgar hopes for a title shot with a win over Sandhagen, Yan has set his sight set on fighting TJ Dillashaw after he is done with Sterling.
Do you believe Frankie Edgar gets the job done against Cory Sandhagen at UFC Vegas 18?