If there was any question about Cory Sandhagen’s legitimacy as a title contender, he answered that in the UFC Vegas 18 co-main event.
Just moments after the fight started, Sandhagen measured Frankie Edgar as he was coming forward with pressure and that’s when he unleashed a brutal flying knee that absolutely demolished the former UFC champion in devastating fashion.
As soon as he saw Edgar fall to the mat, Sandhagen just turned and walked away as he earned the knockout win at just 28 seconds into the opening round.
That is now the second fastest knockout by knee strike in UFC history behind only Jorge Masvidal, who finished Ben Askren in just five-seconds back in 2019.
“It feels good but that’s Frankie Edgar,” Sandhagen said while paying respect to his opponent. “I don’t want to watch that happen to him but better him than me. That’s the game.”
It was going to be hard to top his last performance after Sandhagen uncorked an incredible spinning heel kick to finish Marlon Moraes this past December but that’s exactly what he did.
Sandhagen knew he had to produce that kind of result to ensure he would be next in line for the title shot and a jaw-dropping flying knee should more than do the job. Afterwards, he turned his attention to reigning bantamweight champion Petr Yan and top ranked contender Aljamain Sterling, who are set to do battle at UFC 259 in March.
“I’m a different monster than before I fought Aljamain Sterling,” Sandhagen said while addressing his last loss. :He taught me some lessons. I know [Petr] Yan has been talking about fighting TJ [Dillashaw] after that fight and that’s if he even wins that fight. That’s garbage to me.
“Fight me, I’m the toughest guy next to Aljamain. If Aljamain wins, I owe him a nap. He’s gonna get that nap. The winner of that gets knocked out by me in July.”
Considering the magnitude of his last two knockout wins not to mention the caliber of his opposition, Sandhagen almost certainly secured his place as the next person in line to compete for the 135-pound title later this year.