MMA Fighting has UFC Fight Island 5 results fo the Moraes vs. Sandhagen event Saturday night, live blog of the main event, and live UFC Fight Island 5 Twitter updates.
In the main event, Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen will square off in a key bantamweight contest. Moraes and Sandhagen have both won four of their past five fights.Featherweights Edson Barboza and Makwan Amirkhani will clash in the co-main event.Follow UFC Fight Island 5 results below.Main Card (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)Marlon Moraes vs. Cory SandhagenEdson Barboza vs. Makwan AmirkhaniUFC Fight Night viewers guide: Moraes-Sandhagen main event to prove bantamweights are must-seeou might not think so while watching a particularly brutal fight, but MMA is a pretty forgiving sport.
Barely 16 months ago, Marlon Moraes was knocked out by Henry Cejudo in his bid to become UFC men’s bantamweight champion. Moraes later suffered a different sort of indignity, defeating Jose Aldo in December but then seeing Aldo, not him, get booked against Petr Yan in a July fight for the then-vacant 135-pound title.Cory Sandhagen has an even fresher reminder of how quickly things can fall apart. His No. 1 contender showdown with Aljamain Sterling in June had barely got started before Sandhagen found himself trapped in a chokehold. He ended up seeing his big opportunity evaporate in less than a minute and a half.vBut here come Moraes and Sandhagen again, right back under the spotlight. They meet on Saturday night in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, with the evening of fisticuffs being broadcast from “Fight Island” on ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET main card, prelims at 5 p.m.). The winner will surge back into the title mix at 135 pounds.It’s good to see that these two have not been derailed by one slip-up, because both have been on otherwise strong runs.Moraes (23-6-1, 5-2 in the UFC) was on a four-fight winning streak before succumbing to Cejudo, and among his three finishes during that spell was a 2017 knockout of Sterling, who now is the presumed No. 1 contender. Could a strong performance on Saturday enable the 32-year-old former WSOF titleholder from Brazil to leapfrog his way into a championship challenge?Sandhagen (12-2, 5-1 UFC), who is 28 and fights out of Aurora, Colorado, had won seven straight prior to the loss to Sterling. He likely needs more than a win this weekend to earn a shot at gold, but his date inside the cage with Moraes sure can serve as a solid building block. And future implications aside, Sandhagen is not taking for granted his first UFC main event opportunity.
“When I was signing the [event] posters earlier, and I was signing on my own face,” he told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani this week, “that was a really cool moment.”
This fight promises to deliver plenty of cool moments for the fans as well. Moraes, who is No. 2 in the ESPN men’s bantamweight rankings, has 10 knockouts and six submissions over his career, and the KOs always come early. The only one that didn’t happen in the first round came just 38 seconds into the second.
As for the sixth-ranked Sandhagen, he scored finishes in his first three UFC fights. At 5-foot-11, tall for a bantamweight, he’ll have a big reach advantage, and between that and his deft footwork, Sandhagen has shown adeptness at hitting while not being hit. Let’s see how he fares against Moraes’ power out of the gate.