Cory Sandhagen Says That Everyone Sees Petr Yan as the Champion and Not Aljamain Sterling

Published 10/07/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 06: Cory Sandhagen reacts after his knockout victory over 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)


Cory Sandhagen will return at UFC 267 in an interim title fight against Petr Yan. ‘The Sandman’ will serve as a short-notice replacement after the champion, Aljamain Sterling, had to pull out of his fight against ‘No Mercy’. Hence, ‘The Sandman’ has a great chance to realize UFC gold.

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While speaking to Ariel Helwani at The MMA Hour, Sandhagen was asked if a win against Yan at UFC 267 would make him feel like the actual champion. Helwani also said that Sandhagen, along with Chris Weidman and Daniel Cormier, are the only three fighters that he has predicted to capture UFC gold. Thus, the onus is on ‘Sandman’ to prove Helwani right.

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Maybe in this circumstance, I think it might. I think everyone sees Yan, you know, as the champ of the division. The best in the division. So, I think in this case it will,” said Sandhagen in reply to whether he will feel like a true champion if he wins in Abu Dhabi.

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I think it will mean a lot man. Because it never feels real until it actually is real. And now that I am fighting for a belt, UFC belt, even though it’s an interim one, it would feel like I was the champion. It would feel that way,” he added.

I would definitely know that I have some quieting of the voices maybe about the Sterling loss that I had and then the TJ loss I had and stuff, but those will be very exciting rematches in the division I think also,Sandhagen concluded.

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Can Cory Sandhagen beat Petr Yan?

Yan is one of the most technical fighters of the bantamweight division. However, the same applies to Sandhagen as well. He is a phenomenal fighter who can mix up the element of surprise along with his strong basics.

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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)

Petr ‘No Mercy‘ is excellent on the feet and can stuff takedowns with ease. Meanwhile, ‘The Sandman’ is known for his explosive starts and he even managed to injure T.J. Dillashaw in his last fight.

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Hence, he does have the game to beat anyone. That being said, the fans are the real winners here, as they will get to see two of the very best bantamweights throw down in less than a month’s time.

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Apratim Banerjee

1260 articles

Apratim Banerjee is a senior UFC author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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