UFC Fight Night Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov -- Live updates and results
The flying knee landed flush on the chin, just the second strike to connect for Cory Sandhagen. That was all that was necessary.
Sandhagen stiffened Frankie Edgar with the knee, then watched the former UFC lightweight champion slowly fall to the canvas face-first, unconscious. Referee Keith Peterson immediately jumped in to wave off the bout as a knockout just 28 seconds into the co-main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Sandhagen had reason to celebrate, but he had a look of concern on his face as Edgar remained on the canvas for several moments before being helped to his stool.
All fights from UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Volkov will be available to watch on ESPN+.
• Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov• Cory Sandhagen vs. Frankie Edgar• Michael Johnson vs. Clay Guida• Alexandre Pantoja vs. Manel Kape• Diego Ferreira vs. Beneil Dariush• Mike Rodriguez vs. Danilo Marques• Justin Jaynes vs. Devonte Smith• Karol Rosa vs. Joselyne Edwards• Molly McCann vs. Lara Procopio• Seungwoo Choi vs. Youssef Zalal• Timur Valiev vs. Martin Day• Ode' Osbourne vs. Jerome Rivera
Watch the complete card on ESPN+
"It feels good, man, but that's Frankie Edgar," Sandhagen said. "I don't want to watch that happen to him, you know? But better him than me. That's the game we're in."
Sandhagen, who is 28 and from Aurora, Colorado, has lost only once in his last 10 fights, a run extending back to 2017. He is No. 3 in the ESPN bantamweight rankings. With the champ, No. 1 Petr Yan, set to defend his belt against No. 2 Aljamain Sterling on March 6, this stunning victory puts Sandhagen in position for the next title fight.
"I'm a different monster than I was before I fought Aljamain Sterling. He taught me some lessons," Sandhagen said, referring to last June's first-round submission loss. "I know Yan has been talking about fighting TJ [Dillashaw] after that fight -- that's if he even wins that fight. That's garbage to me. Fight me. I'm the toughest guy next to Aljamain. And if Aljamain wins, I owe him a nap and he's going to get that nap. The winner of those two gets knocked out by me in July."
Sandhagen earned a $50,000 performance-of-the-night bonus.
"I think I finally get the hype I deserve now," Sandhagen said. "I've just been floating under the radar. The fans know who I am if they're really into the sport, but the other people don't. That highlight is going to go around and I think I've got a lot of opportunity now.
Ugh that sucks. https://t.co/xJrBNPy7py— Funky (@Benaskren) February 7, 2021
"It feels good to add that to my resume. I'm even more happy it went the way that it did. That'll be one that gets replayed for a long time -- highlights last forever. Afterwards, it was a little bit emotional. I don't want to see someone crawling up off the canvas. That was a little sad. I'm not an arrogant guy, but if there's one thing I know about myself it's that I can adapt. I can change my mind. Whatever I need to do in order to survive, I'll do. I take that with me everywhere in life. In this sport, I need to be nasty. I wasn't that before. Now I am that and I'm knocking people out."
It was a stunning fall for Edgar, a 39-year-old from Toms River, New Jersey, who was fighting for the second time at bantamweight. He has had slow starts before during a 14-year UFC career, but never a stoppage like this. He lost for the third time in his last four fights.
-- Jeff Wagenheim
Read how fighters reacted to Sandhagen's KO on social media.
Watch this fight on ESPN+
Heavyweight: Alexander Volkov (33-8, 7-2 UFC) defeats Alistair Overeem (47-19, 12-8 UFC) by second-round TKO
Alexander Volkov has been on the cusp of ascending into the heavyweight elite for several years. He has been missing only that one, big, signature finish.
He got it Saturday night.
Good jod Volkov you're now playing on the big men field. Be careful it's Slippery