Cory Sandhagen vs. Rob Font prediction | UFC on ESPN 50 1

As the anticipation builds for this weekend’s UFC Fight Night, all eyes are on the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

In a high-stakes catchweight main event, bantamweight behemoths Cory ‘Sandman’ Sandhagen and Rob Font are set to collide in a battle that promises to be as electrifying as it is unpredictable. With Sandhagen entering the octagon on a two-fight winning streak and Font stepping in as a late replacement, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Whether you’re a seasoned fight fan or a casual observer, this clash of titans is one you won’t want to miss. As the dust settles this Saturday, will it be Sandhagen or Font standing tall in the octagon?

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Betting Odds

The betting odds show that Sandhagen is a decent-sized favorite before this main event.

  • Cory Sandhagen: -350 (BetUS)
  • Rob Font: +250 (BetUS)

Sandhagen, the #4 ranked bantamweight, is the favorite at -350, while the #7 ranked Font, known for his heart and durability, is the underdog at +250.

The over/under for the fight is set at 4.5 rounds, with both options priced at -115. This suggests that the bookies are expecting a closely contested, potentially full-length bout.

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Fight Breakdown

Sandhagen is a simple fighter to break down but a challenging fighter to handicap. He is simple to break down because he can do nearly everything in mixed martial arts at an incredibly high level. He is a massive 5’11 135’er with a 70” reach.

On the feet, Sandhagen is a stance switch striker who can land traditional kickboxing attacks as well as awkward off-beat attacks with a high degree of volume and accuracy. He also has exceptional cardio and movement which makes him challenging to hit clean in return. This is evident by his 5.9 significant strikes landed compared to 3.9 absorbed stats. Sandhagen is also a strong wrestler, albeit a less frequent path to victory.

Rather, “Sandman” typically feints his takedowns to create openings on the feet for his fast, varied, and skilled striking. Then, just as an opponent stops reacting to the feints, Sandhagen will actually follow through with an attempt. Even if he doesn’t land it, it forces his opponent to respect the feint.

Sandhagen is at his best getting reads early in fights, using his jab to keep a safe distance and his footwork to continue circling the outside. Then, as he gets his reads, Sandhagen will close distance and look to back his opponent back into the cage where he can start to land power shots, specifically nasty elbows and devastating knees against a pinned opponent.

The only real gap in his game, small as it is, has been his defensive grappling. Because of his size, movement, and fundamentals, Sandhagen is difficult to take down. Even when down, he has a sneaky submission game he can use defensively. But, against top tier wrestlers and grapplers, Sandhagen has struggled to safely get back to his feet after getting taken down.

Font is as “game” as they come and him stepping in on only a few weeks’ notice to fight one of the most challenging fighters in the division should surprise no one. Fighting out of Boston, Font is one of the New England Cartel fighters- which includes names like Calvin Kattar- who epitomizes their style in the cage.

He is a boxer through and through with the heart and durability for which his camp is known. On the feet, Font has one of the best jabs in the UFC which he throws early and often. Unlike Sandhagen’s jab, which itself is a reliable weapon, Font’s jab works as a range finder and a damaging blow depending how he decides to use it. Then, behind his jab, is a cracking straight right hand that can deal real damage.

We saw the best example of this in his last fight where Font KO’d the hype train of Adrian Yanez with a beautiful display of boxing. Font’s gap, again small as it is, tends to come against power punchers who can counter and crack the linear boxer. The best example of this is Font’s fight against Vera. Font out-landed Vera 271-159 but was dropped on several occasions and lost a unanimous decision. Font’s linear movement and tendency to eat shots so he can keep moving forward is an issue against heavy power; but, it also is what makes him such an exciting fighter to watch.


Both of these fighters have the capability of throwing 300+ strikes over 25 minutes, looking as good in round 5 as they do in round 1, and have the durability to eat their opponent’s best shot and keep going forward. Additionally, neither will have to deal with their kryptonite- Sandhagen facing an elite wrestler and Font facing a power striker.

So, even on short notice, given the stylistic matchup, I expect a highly entertaining technical brawl with plenty of output from both sides. In that kind of fight, I like siding with the fighter who can land a wider variety of strikes, can move more to evade strikes, and has the history of being just a slight notch above in striking battles. I like Sandhagen to win this one.

Because his style is a war of attrition and Font is insanely durable, I like Sandhagen to win by decision. However, Font is getting older and Sandhagen likely needs a statement win to get another shot at the belt soon, so a late finish wouldn’t surprise me. Therefore, I prefer to put Sandhagen in parlays so long as he stays around the -350 tag.

Best Bet: Sandhagen to win by decision (+165 at BetUS)

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