Cory Sandhagen didn’t have to wait long to hear from Marlon Vera and Merab Dvalishvili.
Sandhagen called out both men following his fourth-round TKO win over Song Yadong at UFC Vegas 60 on Saturday. As it turns out, Vera was seated cageside to take in the fights at the UFC Apex, and he responded to Sandhagen moments after the fight’s conclusion.
“If he wants it, he can get it,” Vera said to the UFC’s social media team. “I’m not shying away from any fight. I’m a fighter, I’ll fight anybody, I want to be a world champion. If I want to get there and get the belt, I don’t run away from no one. If he wants it, he can get it — or, I don’t know, whatever the f*** the UFC wants. I’m ready to go right now.”
Sandhagen, 30, is currently MMA Fighting’s No. 4 ranked bantamweight in the world, while Vera is slotted at No. 7 and Dvalishvili is slotted at No. 5.
Saturday’s win was an important one for Sandhagen. The American opened a gruesome cut above Song’s eye that ultimately led to the fight-ending doctor’s stoppage after a bloody and back-and-forth affair, snapping Sandhagen’s two-fight losing streak following decision losses to form UFC champions Petr Yan and TJ Dillashaw in 2021.
Vera last competed in August when he scored a highlight-reel knockout of Dominick Cruz. The 29-year-old native of Ecuador has won four consecutive UFC bouts, including big wins over Rob Font and Frankie Edgar — and he’d be more than happy to add Sandhagen to that list.
“It was a fun fight,” Vera said of UFC Vegas 60’s main event. “I’m impressed by anybody — that’s how I push myself. Everybody in the UFC is a hard fight. I’m a hard worker. Anyone can win at this level, so like Mac Miller says, I don’t f****** trip, I’m ready to go.”
As for the other name Sandhagen targeted, Dvalishvili had a quick response as well.
“My answer is yes of course,” Dvalishvili tweeted Saturday. “Let’s go.”