A high-stakes bantamweight pairing between perennial contender, Aljamain ‘Funk Master’ Sterling, and surging challenger, Cory ‘The Sandman’ Sandhagen, is targeted to serve as the co-headliner of UFC Fight Night San Diego on May 16th. New York native, Sterling – has notched four straight wins recently – earning the #2 rank at 135-pounds. Former LFA prospect, Sandhagen – is so far undefeated in the promotion following his move, back in 2018. News of the pairing was first reported by TSN writer, Aaron Bronsteter.
Streaking contender, Sterling, has firmly staked his claim for a shot at the bantamweight throne in recent successes against the likes of Pedro Munhoz, Jimmie Rivera, and Cody Stamann of note. The Serra-Longo Fight Team trainee’s last defeat came against one-time title contender, Marlon Moraes – via a brutal knee knockout after a stand-up. The 30-year-old joined the UFC ranks back in 2014 and has lodged other notable wins over the likes of Takeya Mizugaki, and Renan Barão.
Recently rumoured to meet former bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz at the May 16th. event – Cory Sandhagen has since been matched with fellow top-five challenger, Sterling. The well-rounded Colorado native has notched finishes of Iuri Alcântara, and Mario Bautista recently, as well as decision triumphs over Brazilian pair, John Lineker, and Raphael Assunção. May will mark the Elevation Fight Team mainstay’s return to action following a scrapped meeting with former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar in North Carolina in January.
UFC Fight Night San Diego takes place on May 16th. from the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California – and is expected to be headlined by a clash between former interim lightweight best, Dustin Poirier, and surging contender, Dan Hooker. In flyweight action, Kai Kara-France takes on Alex Perez, while Cortney Casey meets with Lara Procopio at 125-pounds. At 185-pounds, Punahele Soriano tackles Anthony Hernandez, while Ariane Lipski meets with Luana Carolina at flyweight. In a featherweight tie, Jared Gordan stands opposite Matt Sayles.