(Courtesy of UFC)

Cory Sandhagen knew that his UFC on ESPN+ 8 opponent John Lineker was going to be one of the toughest tests of his career and it was. But after three solid rounds of war, Sandhagen walked out the Octagon with a split-decision victory over one of the best bantamweight fighters in the world. 

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With a victory over a Top 10 opponent in his pocket, Sandhagen was ready to proclaim himself ready for the UFC bantamweight belt as soon as the offer comes. 

Though a shot at the UFC title isn’t likely to come in his next trip to the Octagon, Sandhagen’s fight with Lineker was an important step in preparing him for that goal.