Cory Sandhagen: ‘Punching Bag’ Chito Vera Had ‘No Business’ Fighting Sean O’Malley At UFC 299

Sandhagen gives O'Malley his flowers but not without laying into Vera first.

Cory Ufc 299
(via @corysandhagenmma, @ufc - Instagram)

Bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen is letting off some steam.

Last weekend in Miami, we saw UFC Champion Sean O’Malley defend his world title against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera in a complete shutout over five rounds. There was a whole lot of hoopla on the #6-ranked (at the time) Vera snagging the golden opportunity against O’Malley when Merab Dvalishvili and Sandhagen had already made their case known for a title shot. 

Sandhagen Starts To Go Off On His Former Foe 

Riding a three-fight win streak that includes a lopsided win over Vera, Sandhagen says the Ecuadorian shouldn’t have been fighting O’Malley in the first place at UFC 299.

“Chito obviously had no business being in the cage with O’Malley. Really tough showing by Chito. Awesome performance by O’Malley. Gotta give the guy all the credit in the world, although he was fighting like a homeless looking Chito,” Sandhagen said on his YouTube channel.

A large part of why the title fight went down was Vera’s history with O’Malley. The UFC veteran handed ‘Sugar’ his one and only pro loss back in 2020, a defeat that O’Malley deems as a ‘fluke’.

What ‘Frustrated’ Sandhagen About O’Malley vs. Vera

Sandhagen picks apart what went right for O’Malley in ‘Vice City’, along with beating himself up about buying into the ‘Chito hype’.

“I’m gonna try to spend this whole breakdown, not shitting on Chito the whole time, but it’s probably gonna turn into me shitting on Chito the whole time,” Sandhagen went on. “That fight really frustrated me because it was one just unbelievably uncompetitive. Two, I feel like a dummy for thinking that Chito was gonna do better because that’s almost literally what all of his fights look like unless he gets some type of knockout. And three, I just think that it’s not that cool that Chito even got that opportunity to begin with because like I said, that’s what we all should have seen coming.

“I don’t know why I bought into the Chito hype. That was really stupid of me, but let’s talk about the things that O’Malley did to whip Chito’s ass— which to all the credit in the world O’Malley deserves because he obviously always comes to fight super prepared and he obviously like does his studying super awesome.”

“O’Malley Won Almost The Same Way That I Kind Of Beat Chito”

‘Sandman’ sees similarities in how he and O’Malley both dominated Vera.

“O’Malley won almost the same way that I kind of beat Chito, except he hit Chito a lot harder and hit Chito a lot more,” Sandhagen noted. “So, good on him for doing that. But instead of overwhelming Chito with shots and stuff like that, he started overwhelming Chito with a ton of faints. Like didn’t give him the same look every single time because that’s really important when you’re fighting a finisher, a finisher guy or someone that wants to make a read and hit you.

“If you do the same thing too many times, they’re gonna be able to find you. O’Malley kept it super dynamic the entire time, didn’t give him the same look too many times in a row, and that’s why he won.”

Sandhagen Hates To Break It To You, But Chito Vera ‘Isn’t That Good’

While Chito Vera’s name is up there with the higher echelon of the UFC Bantamweight division, Cory Sandhagen does not think he belongs to be in that conversation, however. As for Sean O’Malley, the #3 contender will give the pink-trunked champion his props.

“Good on O’Malley, other than Chito was pretty much just a punching bag… he was just absolutely styling on him because Chito, one, isn’t that good. Hate to say it if you’re a Chito fan. But, he’s not that good. He’s not that good as far as being like the top contenders.

“Congrats to the champ. I don’t know who he’s going to fight next. Hopefully, he doesn’t leave the division and then start going for double champ status, I think that’s kinda wack right now. We’ll see what the UFC decides.”

One title defense in the books, O’Malley has already set his sights on the featherweight division, calling out champ Ilia Topuria in his post-fight interview. 

You can watch Cory Sandhagen’s full breakdown of the UFC 299 main event below.

Published on March 13, 2024 at 12:10 pm
Stay up-to-date with the latest MMA news, rumors, and updates by following the RED Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, don't forget to add MiddleEasy to your Google News feed Follow us on Google News for even more coverage.


Leave a Comment