Sandhagen (12-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) unleashed a wheel kick finish that led to a second-round TKO of Moraes (23-7-1 MMA, 5-3 UFC), helping him bounce back from an 88-second defeat to Aljamain Sterling earlier this year.
The bantamweight bout was the UFC on ESPN+ 37 main event at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It streamed on ESPN+.
HEEL KICK TO THE DOME
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The fighters wasted no time getting after it early. Moraes and Sandhagen traded powerful low kicks and stood in the pocket exchanging strikes. There was high output on both ends. with Moraes loading up on heavy strikes while Sandhagen threw a lot of kicks and even mixed in flying knee attempts. Nothing landed clean enough to stagger the other, but Sandhagen’s movement and volume was strong as it forced Moraes to miss a lot. Moraes got a late takedown but with no time to work before the end of the round.
Sandhagen came out in a good flow to start Round 2. He landed a number of stiff jabs and went high with kicks. Sandhagen yelled out that he broke Moraes’ orbital bone before chasing him down. Sandhagen loaded up on a right spinning wheel kick that clipped Moraes on the side of the head. He fell to the canvas, and after a few follow-up shots, the referee stepped in at the 1:03 mark of the round.
Following the win, Sandhagen called for a future matchup with former UFC champs T.J. Dillashaw and Frankie Edgar.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN+ 37 results include:
- Cory Sandhagen def. Marlon Moraes via TKO (spinning wheel kick) – Round 2, 1:03
- Edson Barboza def. Makwan Amirkhani via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 29-28)
- Marcin Tybura def. Ben Rothwell via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
- Dricus Du Plessis def. Markus Perez via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:22
- Tom Aspinall def. Alan Baudot via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:35
- Ilia Topuria def. Youssef Zalal via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Tom Breese def. K.B. Bhullar via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:42
- Chris Daukaus def. Rodrigo Nascimento via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:45
- Joaquin Buckley def. Impa Kasanganay via knockout (spinning back kick to the face)
- Tony Kelley def. Ali Alqaisi via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Giga Chikadze def. Omar Morales via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tracy Cortez def. Stephanie Egger via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tagir Ulanbekov def. Bruno Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)