A bantamweight fight between Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen has been revealed as the headliner for UFC Fight Night 219 on February 18th in Las Vegas.
Vera has made a strong push up the 135lb ranks in the past couple of years, earning four victories along the way.
A unanimous decision victory over Davey Grant back in June of last year started that streak, followed by a front kick KO finish of Frankie Edgar. A win the scorecards against Rob Font started his 2022 campaign, with another head kick KO finish over a former champion in Dominick Cruz then taking him to No.4 on the bantamweight ladder.
Vera also holds a TKO win over the current No.1 contender Sean O’Malley, but though there had been talk that they would head into a rematch next, he instead finds himself going up against the No.5 ranked Sandhagen, who has previously fought for the interim 135lb title.
Sandhagen is 3-2 in his past five fights, starting off with spectacular stoppages against Marlon Moraes via a spinning wheel kick TKO and Frankie Edgar via a flying knee KO.
He then lost a split decision to TJ Dillashaw, but circumstances led to him being granted the chance to fight for the interim title after that, though he lost to Petr Yan via unanimous decision, before rebounding with a TKO finish against Song Yadong back in September.
Vera vs. Sandhagen fronts a UFC Fight Night 219 card that also features the likes of Jim Miller vs. Gabriel Benitez, Ovince Saint Preux vs Philipe Lins and Taila Santos vs. Erin Blanchfield.