“He Could Have Got His Surgery After the Fight”- Petr Yan Says He Will Not Offer Aljamain Sterling a Rematch

Published 10/27/2021, 7:45 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: Petr Yan of Russia celebrates after his TKO victory over Jose Aldo 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)|GettyImages


Petr Yan has established himself as one of the UFC’s most dominant fighters. As of October 2021, the former UFC champion sits atop the UFC’s bantamweight rankings. At the bantamweight level, the 15-2-0 fighter’s striking ability is unequaled.

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‘No Mercy’ was unbeaten in the UFC until he struck Aljamain Sterling with an illegal knee at UFC 259 and lost the belt via a disqualification. Many felt Sterling simply pretended he couldn’t continue the fight in order to win the UFC bantamweight title.

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A rematch for the title was scheduled for UFC 267. However, Sterling pulled out due to a neck surgery.

READ MORE: Is Petr Yan Chinese: Nationality, Ethnicity, Pronunciation, and language.

Petr Yan recently appeared at a press conference in preparation for his forthcoming bout. During the interview, he responded to whether he needed a second fight against Sterling to prove he is the better fighter.

The former champion said (via a translator), “You know, Sterling needs a rematch to prove that he can do something. For me, I’m not interested in the rematch if I win the belt with Sandhagen. As you know, he ran away. He could have got his surgery after the fight. Postponed it. Or he could have done it earlier. He’s had this injury for like 10 years, but he decided to run away.”

What’s next for Petr Yan?

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Petr Yan is all set to take on Cory “The Sandman” Sandhagen at the upcoming UFC 267. The fight will be a five-rounder with the interim UFC bantamweight championship on the line. Sandhagen has a slight height and reach advantage over Petr Yan for this fight, but we have seen Yan beat many opponents bigger than him in the past.

UFC 267 will mark a rare sight as both championship contenders are coming off losses. However, both their last defeats were very controversial. While Yan lost his last fight after an illegal knee resulted in Sterling being unable to continue, Cory Sandhagen fought TJ Dillashaw and lost a razor-close split decision.

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WATCH THIS STORY: 5 times Petr Yan showed no mercy with his dominant performances

What do you make of Yan’s comments on a Sterling rematch? For that to happen, he needs to win on Saturday. Can he do it?

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Pranit Punjabi

191 articles

Pranit Punjabi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. A third-year psychology major, this Khabib Nurmagomedov fan merged his interest in psychology with his deep passion for MMA and was intrigued by this new angle to help him get closer to the action. Pranit aims to look through the violence and chaos, into what makes MMA truly beautiful, the deep and rich psychological aspect of the game.

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