Following Petr Yan’s UFC 267 interim bantamweight title fight victory, many, including UFC President Dana White, agree that the next fight for Yan will be a unification bout against champion Aljamain Sterling for the undisputed title. The two were scheduled to meet for the title at UFC 267 but Sterling had to withdraw due to not being cleared from a lingering neck injury, and Cory Sandhagen would replace Sterling to face Yan in an interim title fight.
Yan and Sandhagen would fight an instant five-round classic at UFC 267, with Yan being crowned the interim champion and lining him up to face Sterling for the title. However following his victory this past weekend, the interim champion spoke in his post-fight interview with ESPN and said he would like to really beat up TJ Dillashaw next if a fight with Sterling doesn’t materialize.
On Monday, Aljamain Sterling was a guest on The MMA Hour and was asked about Yan’s comments in regards to facing Dillashaw, and the current champion did not hold back one bit, saying Dillashaw can wait his turn for a title fight opportunity, and he’s not concerned that Dillashaw could face Yan next.
"F*ck TJ [Dillashaw]. F*ck TJ. Let TJ wait. That b*tch ass motherf*cker can wait."@funkmasterMMA tells @arielhelwani he isn't concerned about "cheater" Dillashaw fighting Petr Yan next 😳 https://t.co/23itD14nk3 pic.twitter.com/pxwUEHW3LM
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 1, 2021
“F**k TJ, f**k TJ, let TJ wait. That b**ch ass motherf**ker can wait. Just like that. That guy’s a f**king cheater, he had a close fight, a lot of people still don’t even think he won the fight by hugging another man by the waist, at least I actually go for submissions. I think there’s people that to unify the belts, that have the belts. Am I crazy? How do you not unify the belts? That makes no sense. Let TJ wait and it’s not my fault he got his knee ripped off in that fight with Sandhagen, that’s on him. It is what it is, he’s gotta wait just like everybody else has to wait their turn. He’s waited two years already, he can wait another couple of months.”
There is clearly no love lost between Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw, or Petr Yan for that matter, and while Yan may have other hopeful plans for his next fight, it’s clear a title unification fight is the one to make for the top of the bantamweight division.