Luke Sanders
Cool Hand
Out
Injury Knee
Est. Return 9/7/2019
Undergoes knee surgery
BantamweightUFC
Out
April 6, 2019
Sanders has undergone knee surgery for an undisclosed injury, Mike Bohn of mmajunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Sanders underwent knee surgery after apparently competing at less than 100 percent for "years". He was suspended for 180 days pending medical clearance after his last bout on February 20th. Given the convulsion of events, it's safe to say that Sanders will be sidelined for the foreseeable future.
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Long medical suspension despite win
BantamweightUFC
Out
February 20, 2019
Sanders has been suspended 180 days pending medical clearance by the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Sanders emerged victorious via TKO in this fight, but his opponent was only dealt 60 days by the commission. It's unclear what's ailing the bantamweight contender at the moment, but he'll be sidelined for the forseeable future, likely pending some type of X-rays.
Adjusts gameplan on the fly
BantamweightUFC
Out
February 17, 2019
Sanders defeated Renan Barao via TKO (strikes) at 1:01 of Round 2 at UFC on ESPN 1 on Sunday in Phoenix.
ANALYSIS
Sanders had some trouble with Barao's kicking offense in the first round, but he solved that issue in the second round. He began to step in against the kicks and dropped Barao to the floor. Once Sanders jumped on top, he landed several coffin nails and the fight was over. Sanders came into this fight losing three of his last four, but he turned that around here. He improves to 13-3 as a professional and 3-3 in the UFC. The effort also earned him a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
To face heavy opponent
BantamweightUFC
Out
February 16, 2019
Sanders' scheduled bantamweight fight against Renan Barao will go on as planned despite Barao weighing in at 138 pounds -- two pounds over the bantamweight limit, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Sanders will receive 20 percent of Barao's fight purse for accepting the bout. He remains the betting favorite against the former champion, sitting at approximately (-190) as of Saturday evening after opening in the (-140) range. The 33-year-old has lost three of his last four bouts, but is facing an equally-cold opponent, as Barao has been defeated in each of his last three trips to the Octagon. The loser Saturday could very well be looking for a new promotion to compete under.
Paired against Renan Barao
BantamweightUFC
Out
December 14, 2018
Sanders will square off against Renan Barao at UFC Phoenix on Feb. 17.
ANALYSIS
Sanders will be looking to recover from a string of poor results. He's lost three of his last four matches, the last of which, a submission just 1:31 into his duel with Rani Yahya at UFC Fight Night 135 in August, resulted in a lengthy medical suspension. He'll be facing an opponent in even worse form, as Barao has lost three straight matches and six of his last eight.
Tabbed with 180-day medical suspension
BantamweightUFC
Out
August 29, 2018
Sanders has received a 180-day medical suspension following his submission loss to Rani Yahya at UFC Lincoln over the weekend, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Despite a 12-3 career record, Sanders is now just 2-3 since joining the UFC and could certainly use a decisive victory in the near future to turn things around. However, his quest to get back on track will temporarily be put on hold, as he's been dealt a six-month medical suspension by the promotion. That suspension has the ability to be shortened considerably depending on a physician's approval, though Sanders will still have to serve a minimum of 30 of those days.