Cory “The Sandman” Sandhagen proved that he is one of the best bantamweights in the world after finishing the dangerous “Magic” Marlon Moraes with a beautifully executed spinning wheel kick in round 2. From the opening bell, Sandhagen looked more skilled and locked in than Moraes. Moraes, who is usually a fast starter, looked a little slow out of the gates and Sandhagen was able to use his length and movement to keep Moraes from landing strikes and was able to land his own. Sandhagen was also constantly switching his stance to keep Moraes guessing and missing, while landing clean body strikes and jabs. Moraes did land a few punches in round 1, but they did not seem to phase Sandhagen who kept moving forward. Both fighters traded leg kicks as in the first round. Round 1 was a 10-9 for Sandhagen who was quick and landed strikes to the head, body and legs. In round 2, Sandhagen landed a quick question mark kick and said that Moraes’ orbital bone was broken. Soon after, he took measure with a left jab, which Moraes covered for and Sandhagen came in with a perfect spinning wheel kick, which Moraes did not see coming. Moraes took a back somersault and was in a sitting position, but was clearly hurt. Sandhagen jumped on him and landed a few ground strikes before referee Mark Goddard pulled him off, to call a stop to the fight. Sandhagen was setting up a head strike all first round by going to the body and legs, which eventually opened up the head for him to land a clean spinning wheel kick. What a way for Sandhagen to come back from a loss by finishing the #1 ranked Moraes.
Congratulations to “The Sandman” who won the performance of the night bonus and should now move up in the rankings from #4 to #2. Cory Sandhagen has now won 6 of his last 7 fights in the UFC and this puts him back in the title picture. He called for a fight against former champion TJ Dillashaw who returns from suspension in January, and he called for MMA legend #5 Frankie Edgar for his next fight. Either of these fights would be a good step to the title for Sandhagen and exciting for the fans.
A tough night in the office for Marlon Moraes, who did not seem to open up like he normally does. People questioned his cardio which is why he may have started slowly. Despite the loss, the man is a killer in there and will look to bounce back. I would love to see him fight #6 Pedro Munhoz who just lost a close one to Frankie Edgar. Both fighters will look to bounce back after their losses.
Notable Winners from UFC Fight Island 5
1. Englishman Tom Breese threw quick jabs all fight against KB Bhullar, to set up a beautiful straight left which stung Bullar. Breese got the finish inside 2 minutes of the first round with a stiff jab right to the jaw that dropped Bhullar and caused him to cover up. A few ground strikes later, the fight was over. Brilliant execution from Breese who also won the performance of the night bonus.
2. Despite coming in about 40 pounds lighter than his opponent, Chris Daukaus made quick work of Rodrigo Nascimento in last night’s heavyweight bout. The lighter Daukaus used his speed and footwork to get in range and landed a left hook to drop Nascimento. Nascimento got up to his feet for a second despite taking damage on the ground, only to be caught with another left hook and get knocked out. Congratulations to the man from Philadelphia on winning the performance of the night bonus.
3. BEST KO EVER!!??? After a fairly even round 1, Jaquin Buckley landed what was the greatest knockout ever in a lot of people’s eyes, to stop the dangerous Impa Kasanganay. Buckley threw a front body-kick which was caught by Kasanganay. Buckley then responded by spinning and landing a perfect kick that shut the lights off of Kasanganay. An absolutely mind blowing finish that got everyone off their seats. An unquestionable $50,000 bonus was awarded to Buckley and I am sure he is getting more for this astonishing kick.