Cory Sandhagen took some criticism for his wrestling-heavy gameplan during a comfortable but uneventful decision victory over Rob Font in the main event of UFC On ESPN 50 on Saturday night, and now he’s revealed how an injury changed his strategy during the fight.
“Fully torn tricep in Round 1 :/,” Sandhagen wrote on Instagram. “Wasn’t able to punch or elbow with that arm without pain and it feeling like shit. Did what I had to do to win that night. Surgery this week – back soon! PEACE – LOVE YOU.”
Despite having a valid excuse, bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling was still critical of his performance and suggested it would keep him from moving closer to title contention for the time being.
“Unfortunately, injury is part of sport,” Sterling said. “I can’t take anything away from him. Obviously tearing a tricep is a big thing. I’ve torn my bicep before. I’ve got a partially torn one, also. I know what it’s like to deal with injuries in a fight.
“I just think he could have done a little bit more on top. Your tricep doesn’t stop you from dropping elbows. It doesn’t stop you from punching. There’s levels to this, and respect to him for implementing grappling now to his arsenal – but there’s levels.”
Sandhagen’s performance didn’t appear to have impressed Dana White either as the word from Nashville was that he actually left the arena before the end of the fight.
Nevertheless, the 4th ranked Sandhagen managed to extend his current unbeaten run to three fights with that win over Font, having also beaten Song Yadong and Marlon Vera in the past year.