s a UFC NASHVILLE MAIN EVENT: THREE BEST PROP BETS – Umar Nurmagomedov had to withdraw from this weekend’s main event bout against Cory Sandhagen for undisclosed reasons, so Rob Font stepped up to take his spot.
Consequently, Tatiana Suarez and Jessica Andrade will clash in the co-main event, as Suarez makes her second appearance since returning from injury. The prelims start at 6 p.m. EDT, and the main card begins at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
All odds shown are courtesy of DraftKings and valid as of August 4, 2023.
Tale of the Tape
Cory Sandhagen is on a two-fight winning streak with wins over Marlon “Chito” Vera and Song Yadong. He is 16-4 as a professional and 9-3 inside the promotion.
Rob Font stopped Adrian Yanez’s hype train in his last outing with a knockout victory. He is 20-6 as a professional and 10-5 in the UFC. He is 36 years old, which is five years older than Sandhagen.
Sandhagen to Win by Submission +750
As a good all-rounder with an insane gas tank, Cory Sandhagen is a tough matchup for anyone in the division. He has only been finished once in his career, via a rear-naked choke by Aljamain Sterling, the current Bantamweight champion.
Most notably, Sandhagen has slicing knees and elbows that he lands in any position. Rob Font will thus have his hands full, especially entering on short notice.
Font has a vastly different style than Nurmagomedov, who Sandhagen was preparing to fight. He is boxing-heavy with the ability to mix in takedowns, landing 6.46 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 4.03 strikes.
In addition, Font lands plenty of strikes but likely does not have the power to finish Sandhagen, who has never got knocked out.
Sandhagen should be competitive when standing and will have a grappling advantage when the action finds the mat. Admittedly, Font has been submitted before, by Pedro Munhoz. But that was way back in 2017, and everything suggests that it will be hard for Sandhagen to find the submission.
Even so, his preparation for Nurmagomedov may help him, as his training camp likely consisted of wrestling and grappling. Sandhagen is a talented striker that can stand with Font, but his ground game may have improved enough for him to find a choke when this fight hits the mat.
Sandhagen to Win by Decision +170
Both men have seen their fair share of decisions throughout their careers. They have been fighting in the upper tier of the division for some time, which makes it much harder to win by a finish. They also have tremendous cardio and use it to their advantage.
Neither man will tire in this fight since they are cutting less weight. At 140 pounds, both men should have more energy than usual. It would not be surprising to see this fight go the distance, and current fight props clearly reflect this.
The odds for the fight to go the distance is a near pick ‘em. Font could take a couple of rounds on the feet, but expect Sandhagen to find his way onto Font’s back at some point. Sandhagen is skilled at taking opponents’ backs and finding a body lock. He should be able to land damage and earn control time from this position.
Fight to be Won by Split or Majority Decision +600
These men have been in some pretty close fights recently. Font lost to “Chito” Vera by decision after landing 271 significant strikes. Vera landed 159 significant strikes but also had three knockdowns and damaged Font.
The fight before that one against Jose Aldo went in a similar fashion.
Font often lands an abundant number of strikes, but lacks the damage necessary to impress the judges. Sandhagen has seen five fights go to the judges in the UFC, and three have been a split decision. His style makes for close decisions, and this matchup is no different.