Who do you think is winning this weekend and why?
I’m picking Sandhagen, but with only about 51% confidence. I think this is a very difficult fight to predict and could easily imagine a y’all must’ve forgot type performance from TJ.
Factors for Sandhagen
- TJ is a great striker. But, I think Sandhagen is slightly better and will use his range will.
- Sandhagen is active, and on a hot streak. He has the confidence that big wins can get you.
- He might be able to time those knees. I just rewatched the Marlon fight. He his some of the knees on Marlon, too.
- I personally believe that TJ was on EPO for his entire UFC run, and that his style required endurance that EPO provided. I think that if he’s not using PEDs, it will affect his style, his confidence, and his cardio. Couple that with Sandhagen’s really effective body work and he might be able to slow TJ down.
- Ring rust: TJ hasn’t fought in 2 years, and his last fight was a loss. I do think TJ is uniquely able to handle pressure. But, ring rust is usually real.
Factors for TJ
Wrestling. Corey KOd Edgar, but we don’t know how he would have done against Frankie’s wrestling had the knee not landed. TJ is one of the better MMA wrestlers we’ve ever seen and his ground control is quite good. (That said, he is not the submission threat that Aljo is. So, he might get Corey down, but it’s less clear whether he can finish him on the ground).
Footwork. Sandhagen has great footwork. But, he sometimes plants his feet and admires his work after throwing kicks or combos. TJ can take advantage of this with striking or wrestling.
Fight fight experience and adjustments. TJ has been in there with Cruz, Cody, and Barrao. He has more experience fighting at the highest level and making necessary adjustments.