Coming off a career-best performance and a career-best finish, Cory Sandhagen is the rightful big favourite here, at 1/4.
Back in October, Sandhagen’s most recent outing saw a dynamic wheel kick finish, preceded by a number of impressive exchanges in favour of ‘Sandman”, over then no. 1 ranked Marlon Moraes in a highly impressive showing.
Many may believe that Moraes’ subsequent fight against Rob Font last month resulted somewhat of a retrospective diminishment of Sandhagen’s finish over the Brazilian, but Moraes’ tame demeanour against Font was likely a consequence of the dismantling he suffered at the hands of Sandhagen - at least partially, anyway.
Sandhagen will be confident in that he has several advantages over the experienced Edgar: length; ring generalship; he’s superior at both mid and long-range and he has a more diverse, more dynamic skillset on the feet.
The main concern for Sandhagen would be that his first line of takedown defence has often proved, let’s say, penetrable, but fortunately for him, his excellent scrambling ability makes him difficult to control.
Some might be tempted to use Sandhagen’s bout with Aljamain Sterling to exemplify his potential vulnerabilities against Edgar, but Sterling is an anomaly in the 135 lbs division as far as top control is concerned and his quick, ruthless submission over Sandhagen is more than likely irreplicable for Edgar - or anybody else in the top 15 at bantamweight, for that matter.
Sandhagen works the body well and has an astute snap front kick, which could prove consequential here as it’s the safest and most effective body kick to use against opponents with a potent wrestling threat, given that it can be thrown at volume and is very difficult to catch.
Sandhagen will want to keep the fight out of pocket range, but will also be more than willing to pressure Edgar, as keeping him on the back foot will force his wrestling attempts to be more reactive than proactive, meaning they’ll be less forceful.
With the fight on the feet, Sandhagen will plague Edgar with diverse attacks to the leg, body and head and will likely be very successful in the process.