Rob Font will replace Umar Nurmagomedov for a catchweight bout against Cory Sandhagen.
Earlier this week, news broke about Nurmagomedov pulling out of the UFC Nashville main event due to an injury. As a result, Sandhagen was left without an opponent as the August 5 event quickly approached. Luckily, the UFC managed to find ‘The Sandman’ a ranked opponent on short notice.
ESPN’s Marc Raimondi made the official announcement of Sandhagen’s new opponent by saying this on Twitter:
“Cory Sandhagen will now fight Rob Font at a catchweight in the main event of UFC Nashville on Aug. 5, sources told ESPN. Five-round fight”
Font will have to fight sooner than expected, but he was already in training camp. The Tampa native was scheduled to fight Song Yadong on August 19 at UFC 292. It also helps that he last fought on April 8, when he knocked out Adrian Yanez in the first round.
Meanwhile, Sandhagen looks to keep building momentum to earn a UFC bantamweight title shot. ‘The Sandman’ is riding a two-fight win streak, with his latest Octagon appearance being a split-decision win against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera on March 25.
Cory Sandhagen will now fight Rob Font at a catchweight in the main event of UFC Nashville on Aug. 5, sources told ESPN. Five-round fight.
— Marc Raimondi (@marcraimondi) July 20, 2023
Song Yadong pulled out of his fight with Rob Font, leading to Cory Sandhagen vs. Font
Once Umar Nurmagomedov pulled out, it was unclear if anyone available to step in for the fight against Cory Sandhagen. Most of the ranked UFC bantamweights were either scheduled for a different fight, injured for the next few months, or recently took a lot of damage in war.
Luckily, Rob Font became available at the perfect time because his opponent, Song Yadong, also being injured. MMA Junkie’s Nolan King confirmed the story on Twitter by saying:
“For those wondering, sources tell me Song Yadong had also withdrawn from #UFC292 around the same time Umar Nurmagomedov was injured, which made for a no-brainer matchup given bantamweight schedule.”
It’s unclear what’s at stake between Font and Sandhagen. On August 19, Aljamain Sterling will defend the bantamweight title for the last time against Sean O’Malley before moving up to featherweight. Therefore, the winner at UFC Nashville could earn a title shot against O’Malley or punch their ticket to a vacant title fight if Sterling emerges victorious.
For those wondering, sources tell me Song Yadong had also withdrawn from #UFC292 around the same time Umar Nurmagomedov was injured, which made for a no-brainer matchup given bantamweight schedule.
— Nolan King (@mma_kings) July 20, 2023