Cory Sandhagen Says He Was Pinky Promised A Title Fight With One Win

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Despite losing to T.J. Dillashaw on Saturday, bantamweight Cory Sandhagen says UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby has promised he’s still just a win away from a title fight.

Sandhagen’s title shot ambitions hit a slight setback after losing via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) to Dillashaw in the main event of UFC Vegas 32. The bloody five-rounder was Dillashaw’s first fight after serving a two-year USADA suspension for testing positive to EPO.

“The Sandman” showed slick movement and crisp striking, opening up a gnarly cut between Dillashaw’s right eye and nose which weeped blood for most of the fight. Dillashaw answered by taking Sandhagen down multiple times throughout the bout, despite hurting his knee in the first round.

The defeat is the second setback Sandhagen has experienced on his road to the title. In June last year, the 29-year-old lost via submission to Aljamain Sterling, who went on to clinch the title in his next fight.

For Dillashaw, the win places him first-in-line for a title shot against either Sterling or Petr Yan, who will face off at UFC 267 in October.

Cory Sandhagen Promised Title Shot Is One Win Away By Sean Shelby

In losing by a razor thin margin to former bantamweight champ Dillashaw, it doesn’t seem like Sandhagen’s title ambitions have taken that much of a hit. And “The Sandman” confirmed as much following his defeat on Saturday.

Appearing on the ESPN+ UFC Vegas 32 post-fight show, Sandhagen said that Sean Shelby has pinky promised a title shot if he wins his next fight.

“Sean Shelby just talked to me in the back. I made him pinky promise me that I’m still one fight away from winning the title. He came back, he said, ‘There’s nothing I can do about (the judging), but I promise you you’re still one fight away from the title.’ And I said, ‘I’m gonna make you pinky promise me, and he did. So that’s still what we’re looking at,” said Sandhagen.

Let’s just hope, for Sandhagen’s sake, pinky promises are a form of agreement the UFC is in the practice of honouring. But given Sandhagen’s previous two spectacular stoppage wins over Frankie Edgar and Marlon Moraes, it’s hard to argue he won’t contest for the title in his next few fights.

What do you think? Should Cory Sandhagen get a title shot if he wins his next fight?

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