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Cory Sandhagen too tricky for Marlon Vera in puzzling split decision


Cory Sandhagen put on an impressive performance against Marlon Vera in the highly-anticipated bantamweight headliner of UFC San Antonio, except for one judge's scoring.


Sandhagen's diverse style kept Vera from gaining momentum throughout the 25-minute fight. Despite judge Joel Ojeda's questionable scorecard in favor of Vera, Sandhagen won decisively with 50-45 and 49-46 scorecards.


Sandhagen's high-level skills were on display early in the fight, as he landed a variety of strikes and moved constantly, while Vera relied on his durability and sneaky leg kicks. Even after Sandhagen landed a flying knee and took Vera down, Vera was able to cut him open from his back. However, Sandhagen continued to control the fight with his movement and striking, including an aggressive start to the second round, which saw him secure a takedown and transition to side control, looking for a kimura.


In the third round, Vera began to open up more, landing hard kicks and a left hand to Sandhagen's jaw, while Sandhagen continued to switch stances and keep Vera guessing. Sandhagen defended Vera's takedown attempts in the championship rounds and remained relentless with his wrestling attack, despite occasional strikes from Vera.


After the fight, Sandhagen called for a fight with Merab Dvalishvili, who was in attendance. Sandhagen's win marked his second consecutive victory and ended Vera's impressive four-fight win streak.

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