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Another moment of truth has arrived for Cory Sandhagen.
The Elevation Fight Team standout will try to clear the latest hurdle placed before him in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s bantamweight division when he confronts future hall of famer Frankie Edgar in the UFC Fight Night 184 co-headliner this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Sandhagen, 28, has rattled off eight wins across his past nine appearances, a rear-naked choke submission loss to current No. 1 contender Aljamain Sterling his only hiccup. He last competed at UFC Fight Night 179 on Oct. 10, when he chopped down former World Series of Fighting champion Marlon Moraes with a spinning wheel kick and follow-up punches a little more than a minute into the second round.
As Sandhagen approaches his critical clash with the revered Edgar, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He never conformed to the mindless jock stereotype.
After graduating from Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colorado, Sandhagen enrolled at the University of Colorado, where he completed a degree in psychology.
2. He developed a taste for gold on the regional scene.
Sandhagen captured the Sparta Combat League featherweight title with a three-round unanimous decision over Josh Huber at SCL 50 on July 16, 2016.
3. Judges seem to appreciate his work.
Sandhagen has gone the distance six times as a professional mixed martial artist and owns a 5-1 record in those bouts, with wins over the aforementioned Huber, Raphael Assuncao, John Lineker, Clay Wimer and Andrew Tenneson. He suffered his only defeat on the scorecards in 2017, when he was outpointed by Jamall Emmers under the Legacy Fighting Alliance banner.
4. He tends to push a merciless pace.
Sandhagen lands 6.46 strikes per minute in the UFC, placing him second among active bantamweights in the category. Only Louis Smolka (7.12) connects at a higher rate.
5. His offensive skills have proven sharp on multiple fronts.
Sandhagen has become known more for his standup prowess—he has outstruck all but one of his UFC opponents—but he has other fight-ending skills at his disposal. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Eliot Marshall, he has delivered three of his 13 career victories by submission. He put away Bruce Sessman with a rear-naked choke 1:16 into the first round on May 30, 2015, tapped Dalton Goddard with a triangle choke 3:38 into the first round on April 15, 2016 and dispatched Maurio Bautista with an armbar on Aug. 15, 2018.
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