Was Petr Yan a Bouncer Before His UFC Career?

Published 10/18/2021, 1:27 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 14: Petr Yan celebrates his victory over Urijah Faber in bantamweight fight during UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yan won the fight with a third-round knockout. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)


Petr Yan is perhaps one of the most fierce fighters in UFC. The fighter started competing in the UFC bantamweight in 2018 and has an outstanding record. He has emerged as the winner in most of his UFC fights, except against Aljamain Sterling and Magomed Magomedov. However, the outcome of his fight against Sterling was surrounded by controversy. In his entire UFC career, Yan has had 15 wins and 2 losses.

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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

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At UFC 259, Yan and Sterling battled for the title. When Yan landed an illegal knee to Sterling’s face, he was immediately disqualified. As a result, Sterling was declared the winner, and he became the new bantamweight champion. Many were of the opinion that it was not the right decision because Yan was dominating the fight from the start.

The Russian fighter’s excellence in the sport comes from the fact that he started training in taekwondo as a 12-year-old. Because of this early entry into combat sports, Yan’s amazing performance was inevitable. However, before a full-fledged career as an MMA fighter, Yan worked as a bouncer at a bar in Omsk, Russia.

Given his 5′ 7’’ stature, it would have been a little unusual to work as a bouncer, but his fighting skills and expertise must have surely helped him in his job.

Petr Yan vs Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267

While Yan lost his title in his first title defense to Sterling, he still gets a shot at the interim title. At UFC 267, the Russian fighter will face Cory Sandhagen from the USA.

Sandhagen has a record of 14 wins and 3 losses. His last fight was against TJ Dillashaw, which he lost through a split decision. Just like the Yan-Sterling bout, this fight too was riddled with controversies, as Sandhagen didn’t agree with the judge’s decision. Owing to his better boxing and improved takedown defense, Sandhagen felt that he should have won.

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As both the fights, Yan-Sterling and Sandhagen-Dillashaw, weren’t effective in coming to a conclusive or agreeable decision, many fans felt that a rematch should take place. A rematch, however, may not be possible soon due to Sterling and Dillashaw recovering from their respective surgeries. But Yan and Sandhagen will clash to win the interim bantamweight title.

In a conversation with Ariel Helwani, Sandhagen said, “I think Yan’s just a really good fighter man. I think that he’s, I think people see him as one of the best guys in the division. I think that he’s like a real fighter’s fighter man. He goes in there, he tries to take people out. He’s super tough.”

 Yan’s excellent boxing technique and aggressive stance in the ring are difficult to ignore, whereas Sandhagen’s left hooks and flying knees are deadly. Watching such great and deserving fighters scuffle for the title, it will be exciting to see who ultimately walks away as the champion and avenges their previous loss.

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Who do you think will succeed in winning the bantamweight interim belt at UFC 267 on October 30? Will Petr Yan dominate the fight, or will Sandhagen be the one he loses to? Let us know your thoughts on this upcoming fight in the comments below. 

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Rohini Kottu

112 articles

Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.

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