Sandhagen Controls Vera at UFC on ESPN
March 28 | 2023
Despite some questionable officiating, as there always seems to be when fights come to Texas, Cory Sandhagen controlled Marlon Vera for five rounds to capture a split decision in the bantamweight main event of UFC on ESPN 43 Saturday from San Antonio. Sandhagen used his superior height and reach from the start to land long punches and kicks from the outside while sliding just out of range on Vera's counters.
Sandhagen mixed in his wrestling well, scoring takedowns in the first two rounds as Vera, traditionally a slow starter, seemed content to lay on bottom for much of both rounds. Though seemingly well behind, Vera showed little urgency in his fighting until the very end of the last round when he exploded with a good flurry. Despite Sandhagen's apparent dominance, with two judges giving it to him by 50-45 and 49-46 scores, local official Joel Ojeda somehow had it for Vera 47-46.
Officiating controversy is nothing new in Texas where, just the previous night, referee Frank Collazo refused to stop a fight after a fighter had been choked unconscious.
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