UFC 267: Petr Yan vs Cory Sandhagen- Prediction and Analysis

Published 10/27/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
INGLEWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 29: Petr Yan of Russia celebrates his TKO victory over Douglas Silva de Andrade of Brazil in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 232 event inside The Forum on December 29, 2018 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The co-main event for UFC 267 sees former champion Petr Yan go head-to-head against Cory Sandhagen for the interim bantamweight strap. The fight was originally scheduled to be the first title defense of undisputed champion Aljamain Sterling against Yan. However, ‘The Funkmaster’ did not receive medical clearance to fight and was forced to withdraw from the contest.

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The aforementioned interim title fight is peculiar in that both men are contesting for gold after coming off losses. ‘No Mercy’ Yan was disqualified after landing an illegal knee to a downed opponent when he faced Sterling at UFC 259. As for Sandhagen, he recently lost a controversial split decision to T.J. Dillashaw in the latter’s return to the UFC.

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UFC 267: Petr Yan vs Cory Sandhagen

Before losing to Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan was on an impressive 10-fight win streak. He defeated the likes of Jose Aldo and Urijah Faber in his recent bouts, and fans want to see him take on fighters in their prime. ‘The Sandman’ certainly fits that bill, and he’s sure to bring forth a comprehensive game plan to get one over the Russian.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Petr Yan of Russia punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Petr Yan is well-rounded no matter where the fight ends up, however, he does some of his best work in close range. The 15-2 fighter is able to shoot for the legs and work his way towards a dominant position in a short time span. He’ll have to be wary about flying knees upon entry as it has become Cory Sandhagen’s signature weapon.

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Cory Sandhagen has only lost to the very best that the UFC has to offer in his 14-3 career thus far. He has gone through multiple staples in the bantamweight division including Frankie Edgar, Marlon Moraes, Raphael Assuncao, just to name a few. Additionally, he’s managed to stop most of the aforementioned fighters viciously and become a fan-favorite finisher in the process.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 06: Cory Sandhagen lands a flying knee to knock out Frankie Edgar in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Sandhagen exposed a deficiency in his game during his bout against Dillashaw as he was rather easily controlled against the fence. That plays right into Petr Yan’s wheelhouse and Sandhagen will have to make sure he’s explosive in close range. Not to mention, keeping the spinning attacks to a minimum against a grappler would be a prudent strategy.

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Prediction: Petr Yan to claim a second-round submission victory

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Darryl Pinto

2023 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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