- Date & Location: Saturday Oct. 10 @ Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Odds: Cory Sandhagen (-135) vs. Marlon Moraes (+105) via Bovada
- Prediction: Sandhagen by decision
In July, Petr Yan claimed the vacant UFC bantamweight title with a one-sided beating of former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Yan does not have an opponent for his first title defense. UFC president Dana White has teased it could be Aljamain Sterling, who is the No. 2 ranked fighter in the official UFC bantamweight rankings. However, that fight is not set in stone. That means the winner of Saturday’s matchup between the No. 1 ranked Marlon Moraes and No. 4 ranked Cory Sandhagen has the chance to steal the title shot from Sterling.
Moraes is 5-1 in his past six outings. His only loss during that time is a third-round TKO setback to then champion Henry Cejudo. Sandhagen is also 5-1 in his past six bouts. His sole loss is a June submission defeat at the hands of Sterling.
Click on this page if you have any doubts about how to bet on UFC.
MORAES vs. SANDHAGEN ODDS
|Fighter||Odds (via Bovada)|
MORAES vs. SANDHAGEN PREDICTION & PICK
This is one of those rare fights where both fighters absorb more significant strikes than they land. That’s not a statistic a fighter wants to have below their name, but it should make for an entertaining fight for the fans.
I think this matchup will be determined by who establishes the fighting range. An in close battle favors the shorter and more powerful Moraes. A kickboxing fight favors Sandhagen because that style would allow him to use his height and reach to his advantage.
I think Sandhagen is good enough and smart enough to stay away from Moraes in the early rounds. If he does that, Moraes will likely fade and that’s when Sandhagen can use his boxing skills to score points.
Pick: Sandhagen (-135)
BETTING VALUE WITH SANDHAGEN
This fight could be a wild one. Moraes has the power and timing to end things in the first round while Sandhagen has the boxing skills to wrap things up late. There’s also the fact that Moraes is a black belt in jiu jitsu, while Sandhagen holds a brown belt.
If you think Moraes can get inside on the bigger Sandhagen, then a pick of a first or second round knockout for Moraes is not out of the question. If you think Sandhagen can score a late round stoppage that might also be worth a bet, but keep in mind he hasn’t had a knockout win since he began fighting top-level UFC competition.
I think Moraes will fade late in this fight and Sandhagen will piece him up with boxing and get the decision win.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
This is a tough pick. Moraes, who is the former World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion, has an experience and power advantage over Sandhagen. He is also better at timing his strikes. On the downside, he has a tendency to gas out as his fights get into the later rounds.
Moraes will have the edge early with his power, especially if he can land his arsenal of kicks, but the longer the fight goes, the more it favors the bigger Sandhagen.
FIGHT STATS: MORAES vs. SANDHAGEN
|Marlon Moraes||Category||Cory Sandhagen|
|3.53||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||6.95|
|3.69||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||4.08|
|0.46||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||1.20|
|0.50||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.60|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
With no opponent named for Yan, the next UFC bantamweight title shot is up for grabs. I think Moraes has an easier route to that shot than Sterling since he has knockout win over Sterling. However, if Sandhagen can stop Moraes, he could leapfrog Sterling even though his most recent loss was to Sterling.