UFC on ESPN 50: Sandhagen vs. Font Odds, Schedule, Predictions
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Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
The UFC heads to Nashville with a key bantamweight bout between Rob Font and Cory Sandhagen.
Although the bout is important for the 135-pound division, it is being fought at 140 pounds. The bout was originally scheduled between Sandhagen and Umar Nurmagomedov, but the latter pulled out of the bout.
At around the same time, Font lost his scheduled opponent, Song Yadong.
The UFC put the two together in a bout that should have a lot to say about the current bantamweight title picture.
The co-main event features an interesting women’s strawweight bout between Jessica Andrade and Tatiana Suarez. Here’s a look at the complete card along with a closer look at the featured bouts.
Fight Card, Schedule and Odds
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Tanner Boser and Aleksa CamurJeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Main Card (ESPN/ESPN+, 9 p.m. ET)
Cory Sandhagen (-345) vs. Rob Font (+275) – 140-pound contract weightJessica Andrade (+295) vs. Tatiana Suarez (-375)Dustin Jacoby (+130) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (-155)Diego Lopes (-175) vs. Gavin Tucker (+145)Tanner Boser (-148) vs. Aleksa Camur (+124)Ignacio Bahamondes (-230) vs. Ludovit Klein (+190)
Prelims (ESPN/ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET)
Raoni Barcelos (+170) vs. Kyler Phillips (-205)Carlston Harris (+105) vs. Jeremiah Wells (-125)Damon Jackson (+150) vs. Billy Quarantillo (-180)Cody Durden (+160) vs. Jake Hadley (-192)Dennis Buzukja (+160) vs. Sean Woodson (-192)Asu Almabaev (-192) vs. Ode Osbourne (+160)
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Sandhagen vs. Font
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Cory SandhagenLouis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
This main event might be the product of unfortunate circumstances, but it’s a fun matchup nonetheless.
Rob Font should have probably won one more fight before getting this kind of opportunity. He snapped a two-fight skid against Jose Aldo and Marlon Vera before taking out Adrian Yanez out in under three minutes.
Getting back into the cage with a talent like Sandhagen is asking a lot.
However, Font and Sandhagen are similar stylistically. Both are high-volume strikers who can wrestle when they need to.
It doesn’t seem to be the preference of either, though. This one should be a striking contest and the primary difference is that Sandhagen has a few more tools in his arsenal. Font’s boxing is strong but Sandhagen should be able to manage the distance with his kicks.
That diversified attack should give him the upper hand in a fight that is going to feature a lot of exchanges.
Font is a tough out so this one is probably going the distance, but he might not have enough to offer offensively.
Prediction: Sandhagen via decision
Suarez vs. Andrade
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Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Tatiana Suarez is one of the greatest “what if’s” in the sport right now.
Injuries have prevented her from reaching her full potential in the cage to this point. She had to take a three-and-a-half-year hiatus as she recovered from neck and knee injuries.
When she finally came back from those injuries, she extended her undefeated record to 9-0 with a submission win over Montana De La Rosa. Now, she’ll look to make it 10-0 as she returns back to the strawweight division in search of a title shot.
Across the cage, she’ll see an accomplished veteran in Jessica Andrade. The former strawweight titleholder is the most accomplished fighter she has seen to date.
Andrade has come across hard times of late. She is on a two-fight losing streak that includes a submission loss to Erin Blanchfield and a knockout loss to Yan Xiaonan.
The problem is that Andrade has spent most of her career as the stronger, more explosive fighter. However, she’s been involved in a lot high-volume fights and has lost five fights by knockout in her career.
She’s seen a lot of wear and tear and Suarez is a bad matchup thanks to her own ability to ragdoll opponents.
Prediction: Suarez via third-round TKO
Jacoby vs. Nzechukwu
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Dustin Jacoby and Kennedy NzechukwuJeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
The lead-in to the co-main event serves as a barometer for two borderline Top 15 light heavyweights.
Dustin Jacoby is 35 and is clinging on to the designation. He’s almost slipped completely out of the rankings after back-to-back losses to Khalil Rountree Jr. and Azamat Murzakanov.
Kennedy Nzechukwu, on the other hand, is on the rise with three straight finishes. He has proven he can finish fights with his power. He has been inconsistent at times and doesn’t have the greatest defense, but when he’s at his best he’s dangerous.
Jacoby has some pop in his own right. Eleven of his 18 wins have come by way of knockout.
That’s where things should get interesting. In terms of pure power, Nzechukwu is the more dangerous fighter. But Jacoby is a solid kickboxer who could also take the fight on points if he can avoid major shots from Nzechukwu.
That’s not always easy, though. Nzechukwu’s flying strikes and ability to cover distance makes him difficult to avoid for three rounds.
Prediction: Nzechukwu via second-round TKO
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