Petr Yan isn’t too interested in rematching Aljamain Sterling.
Yan and Sterling first met at UFC 259 back in March at the Apex as the Russian was looking to defend his bantamweight title for the first time. Early on, Sterling had success but he then started to fade and Yan took over and was dominating the fight. Yet, in the fourth round, the champ landed an illegal knee, and Yan was DQ’d leaving Sterling to become the champ.
The two were supposed to rematch at UFC 267 on Saturday but Sterling was forced out of the bout. Cory Sandhagen replaced him and Yan-Sandhagen will now fight for the interim bantamweight title and should the Russian win, he says he’s not interested in the rematch.
“Sterling needs the rematch to prove that he can do something,” Yan said at media day. “For me, I’m not interested in the rematch if I win the belt this Saturday.”
Although Yan says he doesn’t care about rematching Sterling, should he win, that would be the next fight. Yet, right now, his focus is on Sandhagen and figuring out his opponent and how to get his hand raised.
“He’s a well-deserving opponent who’s very versatile and very good everywhere,” Yan said. “In the fight, I just want to showcase in which aspect I am greater than him.”
Should Petr Yan defeat Cory Sandhagen on Saturday, he doesn’t care if people view him as the real champ or not. The Russian also says he doesn’t care who his next fight is against, as he’ll fight anyone the UFC puts in front of him.
“For me, it doesn’t matter,” Yan said. “I have a fight for the belt this Saturday… “My goal is to win the belt, and it doesn’t matter who’s standing across from me. I don’t want to think about him at all.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime