It is worth taking another look back at Cory Sandhagen’s phenomenal performance vs Yadong Song. Careful attention must be paid to the execution of a masterful game plan by the Elevation Fight Team product as he set the stage to dismantle a dangerous power-puncher out of Team Alpha Male in the sport’s most talent-rich division.
A clear emphasis was placed on drawing the grappling out of Song early in the bout, and this strategy paid dividends as the rounds wore on. Although Sandhagen may not have been winning the aforementioned grappling exchanges, landing only 1 of 14 takedown attempts, the primary goal was to drain his opponent and this kept Song worried about multiple threats. With Song’s power zapped, Sandhagen found space and time to find his rhythm, landing jabs and a skin-slicing elbow that eventually forced an end to the bout.
The strategy of Sandhagen to initiate the grappling early forced Yadong Song into multiple spring-like reactions after executing sprawls Now that Song was faced with multiple threats, we saw Sandhagen utilize his footwork, clear cardio advantage, and leg kicks, and unorthodox striking techniques to pull away late in the bout. Yadong Song was left a step behind, lunging inaccurate power punches into the Las Vegas night.
Cory Sandhagen deserves praise for his cerebral efforts. It was refreshing to witness an elite bantamweight execute a high fight IQ game plan and thread the needle vs a dangerous opponent who was capable of ending the bout via one strike. This fight IQ is something one must consider when breaking down fights and deciding who to back with your hard-earned money.
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