In the main event on Saturday's UFC San Antonio, we saw Cory Sandhagen show everyone why he is one of the best bantamweight fighters in the entire UFC. In the post-fight interview with Michael Bisping, Sandhagen revealed his winning strategy over a tough adversary in Marlon Vera.
“[The strategy was to] win the early rounds and then know he was going to come at me,” Sandhagen said, per ESPN. “I knew that was going to happen. So, I took him down early and moved my ass around in [Rounds] 3, 4, and 5. That's how you beat Chito. Chito is a good fighter.”
That is exactly what Sandhagen did. He made Vera work early as he is notoriously a slow starter in the early going of his fights. He tends to pace himself knowing it is a five-round fight, but going against someone of Sandhagen's caliber it is very hard to come back from a two rounds none deficit.
Vera did however pick up the pace as we got through Round 2, starting to land more meaningful shots and defending the takedowns well. Unfortunately, it was just too little, too late because even with his uptick in aggression and volume, Sandhagen was right there throwing even more volume and still outworking him.
Cory Sandhagen has solidified himself as one of the top contenders in the bantamweight division and is looking to get back to that No. 1 spot in his next fight.
UFC San Antonio Performance Bonuses
There were a ton of great fights on this live fight card, but the one that stood out from all the rest was a fight that didn't even reach the third round. The all-out brawl between CJ Vergara and Daniel Lacerda stole the show and won the Fight of the Night honors. This fight had numerous swings of momentum both ways with Lacerda hurting Vergara early, him surviving the round and then Vergara finishing Lacerda in Round 2.
Then you have the two performance bonuses that went respectively to Nate Landwehr and Daniel Pineda. Seeing as these two other than Vergara were the only ones with finishes on the night, it makes sense that they were to get performance bonuses.
Landwehr had a more methodical approach than normal in the first round against Austin Lingo, but when Round 2 began he started to heat up. He came out firing and when Landwehr went for a takedown in transition, he was able to take Lingo's back and sink in the rear-naked choke submission so quickly that Lingo ultimately had to tap.
Pineda came back after a lengthy layoff looking like he never left. It was a feeling-out process early against Tucker Lutz as most expected, but then Pineda rocked Lutz with a hard shot, dropping him to ultimately win the first round. When the second round commenced, Lutz came out with a grapple-heavy approach, which worked to no avail as Pineda capitalized on the ill-advised takedown attempt and snatched his neck for a superb guillotine choke.
UFC San Antonio Results
This Fight Night definitely was well worth the watch for the live fans, as it was for those watching at home. There were exciting fights all throughout, so let's take a look at the results of this UFC San Antonio fight card.
Cory Sandhagen def. Marlon Vera – via Split-Decision
Holly Holm def. Yana Santos – via Unanimous Decision
Nate Landwehr def. Austin Lingo – via Rear-Naked Choke (4:11 Round 2)
Maycee Barber def. Andrea Lee – via Split-Decision
Albert Duraev def. Chidi Njokuani – via Split-Decision
Lucas Alexander def. Steven Peterson – via Unanimous Decision
Trevin Giles def. Preston Parsons – via Split-Decision
CJ Vergara def. Daniel Lacera – via KO/TKO (4:04 Round 1)
Victor Altamirano def. Vinicius Salvador – via Unanimous Decision