What’s next for Aljamain Sterling after defending his title at UFC 273?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 273, the bantamweight title was on the line. Aljamain Sterling (21-3) was defending his title against the interim champion Petr Yan (16-3). The two men had met in the octagon last year, but the fight ended in controversy. After a strong start, Aljamain Sterling really started to fade and Petr Yan was taking over.

However, Yan made a massive mistake in the fourth round. While Sterling had a knee on the ground, Yan blasted him with a knee that caused the fight to end. Sterling won by DQ and became the UFC bantamweight champion.

This fight had some controversy, just not the same kind. The fight was razor close with Yan winning rounds three and four while Sterling dominated the second and third rounds. Sterling was so dominant that I could easily see him getting one 10-8 round. In fact, that’s how I scored the second round. The fight came down to the first round at UFC 273.

Two judges gave it to Sterling while one gave it to Yan. Ultimately, that decided the fight and Sterling won a split decision.

What’s next after UFC 273?

Prior to UFC 273, most people didn’t consider Aljamain Sterling to be the legitimate champion. However, whether or not you agree with the decision, you can’t deny him any longer.

Now that he’s won his fight against Petr Yan, what’s next? Well, It’s pretty clear what’s going to be next for The Funkmaster. Aljamain Sterling is going to be taking on former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw.

Sterling called out Dillashaw after the fight and Dana White said that would be next at his post-fight press conference. Dillashaw is coming off a win against Cory Sandhagen last year.

The former champion still believes he has a claim to the bantamweight title. Dillashaw never lost his title, but he had to relinquesh the title after he tested positive for EPO during his attempt to drop to flyweight.

Having never lost his UFC title inside the octagon, Dillashaw still believes the title is his. Well, he’s going to get his chance to get it back when he takes on The Funkmaster.

After coming up short at UFC 273, what’s next for Petr Yan?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 273, the bantamweight title was on the line. Aljamain Sterling (21-3) was looking to legitimize his championship as he was taking on the interim champion Petr Yan (16-3).

The two men fought back at UFC 259 last March and Sterling won the title by disqualification. Due to the nature of the win, there were a lot of questions surrounding the legitimacy of Sterling’s championship. He was looking to shut up the haters on Saturday.

First round was incredibly close and I personally gave the first to Petr Yan. The second and third rounds were dominated by Sterling with his ability to get Yan down and get his back. The second round was so dominant that I actually gave Sterling a 10-8.

Without question, Yan won the final two rounds at UFC 273 with his ability to control Sterling. It all came down to how the first round was scored. I personally had the fight a draw and Dana White said that he scored the fight overall for Sterling. In the end, two judges gave the fight and the bantamweight title to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 273.

What’s next after UFC 273?

Regardless of how you feel about the decision, it’s a loss for Petr Yan and his first legitimate loss in the UFC. Yes, he lost to Sterling last year, but it was by disqualification so you could essentially say he beat himself. I don’t view that fight as a loss to Sterling.

Now that he’s lost, what’s next for Yan? Yan said that he was hoping the UFC would book the third fight, but Dana White has already shot that down voicing that TJ Dillashaw will likely get the next shot at the bantamweight title.

A fight that should happen in my opinion is Yan against Merab Dvalishvili (14-4). Merab has won five fights in a row and he’s teammates with Sterling. Yan had a backstage run in with Merab and Sterling prior to UFC 273 so there’s already bad blood there. Given the place of both men in the division, it’s a fight that makes perfect sense to me.

Aljamain Sterling edges Petr Yan by Split Decision at UFC 273

In the co-main event of UFC 273 the bantamweight title was on the line. The reigning champion Aljamain Sterling (20-3) was taking on the interim bantamweight champion Petr Yan (16-2) in a rematch.

These two previously fought back at UFC 259 when Yan was the champion. In that fight, Sterling got off to a pretty decent start. However, he ran into a brick wall in the middle rounds and that wall was Petr Yan.

Yan started dominating the fight and looked like he was on his way to winning a lopsided fight. However, Yan hit Sterling with an illegal knee in the fourth round and the fight was waved off. Because it was an intentional foul, Yan was disqualified and Sterling was awarded the championship.

Due to neck surgery, we haven’t seen Sterling since. However, we did see Yan back at UFC 267. That night he fought Cory Sandhagen for the interim title and outclassed Sandhagen on the feet to win a decision and the title.

UFC 273 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 273 title fight kicked off without a touch of the gloves. Body kick from Sterling kicks off the striking. Pressure from Yan here as Sterling circles on the outside. Low kick from Sterling. Yan plotting forward and Sterling shoots for a takedown.

Beautiful sprawl from Yan and they are back to striking. High kick attempt missed from Sterling. Lots of forward pressure from Yan and he’s gauging the distance here. Jab lands for Yan. Body kick lands for Sterling and he doubles it up.

Sterling continues to circle on the outside and he eats a kick from Yan. Both men are really just feeling the other out halfway through the first round. Nice 1-2 lands for Petr Yan. Both men wildly miss with big shots.

More pressure from Yan who is doing a great job of controlling the octagon. Two left hooks just miss for Yan. Nice step in elbow from Sterling. Yan is just walking him down here. Sterling goes for a takedown but nothing home and Yan lands a nice shot as the round ends. Nothing big happening in round one, but likely goes to Yan at UFC 273.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 273 and the first could have gone to either man. Sterling opens the second with a couple of kicks and Yan goes right back to pressuring him. Huge body kick lands for Yan. Side kick to the leg for Yan. Sterling shoots and again, Yan just shrugs him off.

Sterling goes for another takedown and he gets it. Not only does he get it, but he’s immediately in the mount. Sterling quickly gets to the back of Yan and he locks in the body triangle. Yan is in deep trouble early in the second round.

Sterling trying soften Yan up to open up the submission. However, Yan is defending well for now. This is a battle of the hands here as Sterling continues to look for a rear-naked choke and Yan looks to defend.

Huge shots from Sterling and he looks like he has the choke. However, Yan defends well but Sterling is still in the mount. Big shots from Sterling from the top and he’s making a statement here in the second round.

Under a minute to go and Sterling gets his back again. Sterling continues to land nice shots and the round is coming to a close. Dominant second round for Sterling and it’s easily a 10-8 at UFC 273.

Round 3

Entering the third at UFC 273 and all the momentum is with Sterling. Yan goes right back with big pressure to start the third and he lands two big kicks. Powerful low kick from Yan and then he lands a huge body kick. He’s being very aggressive here in the third.

Sterling shoots for a takedown, but Yan defends well. Now it’s Sterling coming forward with the pressure and Sterling gets the takedown. Almost immediately, Sterling gets the back of Yan and he’s starting to work the choke again.

Yan tries prying Sterling’s legs to break the body triangle, but Sterling is keeping it locked in. Now Yan tries spinning into him, but Sterling isn’t letting him go anywhere. Dominant ground control here from Aljamain Sterling.

Entering the final minute of the third round and Sterling is still riding the back of Yan. Impressed Yan has survived, but even more impressed at the ground control from Sterling. The third round comes to a close and another dominant one in the books for Sterling at UFC 273.

Round 4

Entering the fourth at UFC 273 and Yan needs to really turn things around. Yan takes the center to start the fourth round and he immediately throws a big combination. Sterling might be hurt and Yan is all over him.

Sterling gets out of there but Yan is stalking him here. Huge low kick from Yan forces a takedown attempt Sterling. Yan defends well and actually has the back of Sterling against the fence now. Nice knees to the thigh from Yan.

Yan breaks the clinch and lands a nice knee. The two come together and Sterling gets a body lock and hops on the back of Yan. However, he’s too high and Yan shakes him off. Sterling attacks a triangle, but Yan breaks through and he settles into the guard.

Big shots from Yan and Sterling tries to scramble. Yan has the back of Sterling and Sterling tries to roll through. However, Yan rides it and ends up on top. Nice elbows land for Yan. The round comes to a close and it’s Petr Yan’s round at UFC 273.

Round 5

Entering the final round at UFC 273, I have it 2-2, but I also have Sterling winning with a 10-8 round in there. Yan takes the center and he lands a nice body kick to start the striking. Low kick lands for Yan and he’s going after Sterling hard.

Huge takedown attempt from Sterling here, however, Yan is defending well. Sterling presses him against the fence and he’s trying for a takedown desperately here. Yan shakes him off and they are striking. Nice left hand lands for Yan.

Sloppy takedown attempt from Sterling and Yan shakes him off. However, Sterling goes for another one and gets the back of Yan on the feet. Yan works his way to the fence as he tries to defend. Knees to the thighs from Sterling.

Yan spins and breaks the clinch. Jab from Sterling and another takedown attempt. Yan defends and then Sterling shoots again. Another sprawl from Yan and they are striking. Nice left hand from Yan and there’s two minutes left.

Big knee and a nice left from Yan lands. Sloppy takedown attempt from Sterling and Yan throws him to the side. Yan takes his back but lets him go. Sterling shoots again, but Yan defends and gets his back again. Yan landing shots from the top.

The fight comes to a close and Yan wins the final two rounds at UFC 273. These scorecards are going to be interesting.

Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)

UFC 273: Can Aljamain Sterling silence the haters and legitimize his title against Petr Yan?

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 273 the bantamweight title is on the line. The reigning champion Aljamain Sterling (20-3) is taking on the interim bantamweight champion Petr Yan (16-2) in a rematch.

These two previously fought back at UFC 259 when Yan was the champion. In that fight, Sterling got off to a pretty decent start. However, he ran into a brick wall in the middle rounds and that wall was Petr Yan.

Yan started dominating the fight and looked like he was on his way to winning a lopsided fight. However, Yan hit Sterling with an illegal knee in the fourth round and the fight was waved off. Because it was an intentional foul, Yan was disqualified and Sterling was awarded the championship.

Due to neck surgery, we haven’t seen Sterling since. However, we did see Yan back at UFC 267. That night he fought Cory Sandhagen for the interim title and outclassed Sandhagen on the feet to win a decision and the title.

UFC 273 Prediction

Let’s be completely honest here, nobody really considers Aljamain Sterling to be the true UFC bantamweight champion. Yes, he will walk in second and be introduced as that, but the man won the title by disqualification.

Tomorrow night is his chance to prove he is the true champion. How does he do that? Well, I think you’ll see a steady diet of kicks and takedown attempts from Sterling. Look for him to work the body of Yan and even look to work leg kicks on Yan who stands mostly in a boxing stance.

For Yan, the game plan is very simple. The plan is to keep the fight at his range and keep it standing. Yan isn’t afraid to exchange in grappling and we saw that in their first fight. However, Yan wants to make a statement at UFC 273 and he does that with his hands.

I really respect Aljamain Sterling as a competitor. He’s one of the best bantamweights in the world. However, he’s not the best and I think that’s going to be proven tomorrow night. Expecting a big statement from Yan and I’m expecting him to walk out the undisputed champion.

Prediction: Petr Yan by TKO – Round 3 

UFC books Aljamain Sterling – Petr Yan 2

The UFC has finalized the rematch we’ve been waiting for, for the bantamweight championship. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that Aljamain Sterling (20-3) will be defending his title against the interim champion Petr Yan (16-2).

The fight was confirmed by Dana White and it will take place at UFC 272 on March 5th. It was a big night for the promotion which also announced the Alexander Volkanovski – Max Holloway trilogy for UFC 272. For Sterling, this will be his chance to prove his legitimacy.

Let’s be completely honest, Aljamain Sterling didn’t truly win the UFC bantamweight title. It was given to him after he was hit with an illegal strike by Petr Yan. These two met back at UFC 259 last March. Yan was completely dominating Sterling throughout the fight.

However, Sterling was hit with a flush illegal knee and couldn’t continue. By disqualifying Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling was awarded the title. Now let me be clear, Aljamain Sterling deserves all the credit in the world for his wins that led him to that title shot at UFC 259.

His performance against Cory Sandhagen was truly something special. However, I will not look at his title reign as legitimate until he truly defeats Petr Yan. In reality, nobody looks at Sterling as the legit champion. He gets his opportunity to prove that he is at UFC 272.

Yan’s chance to regain undisputed UFC gold

As mentioned above, Petr Yan was completely dominating Aljamain Sterling when they fought. He dropped Sterling a number of times and if he hadn’t thrown that illegal knee, he was going to walk to either a decision win or a stoppage victory.

However, he did throw that illegal strike and his UFC title was taken away. Originally, Yan and Sterling were supposed to run things back at UFC 267. However, Sterling wasn’t medically cleared to compete due to a neck surgery and the fight was called off.

Yan ended up fighting Cory Sandhagen instead and was incredibly impressive on his way to winning the interim title. Now, Yan will get his chance to regain the title that many don’t believe he truly lost. Should be a good one on March 5th.

Who will be UFC champion after 2022? (Flyweight – Lightweight)

2021 was an incredible year for the UFC. This year, the world’s biggest MMA promotion welcomed back fans in the arenas after 2020 ended with empty arenas due to the ongoing pandemic.

Thinking back, there were so many memorable moments for the promotion. Starting the year at UFC 257 where Dustin Poirier stopped Conor McGregor in the second round. Then they rematched at UFC 264 and the fight ended with Conor McGregor snapping his leg.

There was UFC 261 that saw the first sellout for the promotion since shutting things down in 2020. Kamaru Usman knocked Jorge Masvidal out cold. Rose Namajunas knocked out Zhang Weili to become a two-time strawweight champion.

Of course, how could you not mention UFC 269 where Julianna Pena shocked the world by stopping Amanda Nunes. I could go on and on about how big of a year this was for the promotion. So many titles changed hands and so many epic fights.

Now, it’s time for the UFC to look forward to 2022. Last year, we published our predictions for who we believed would be champions once 2021 ended and it was a mixed bag of results. That said, let’s preview 2021 and predict who will be UFC champions at the end of next year.

UFC 2022 Champions

Flyweight – Deiveson Figueiredo

Currently the UFC flyweight champion is Brandon Moreno (19-5-2). Moreno defeated Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1) earlier this year for the flyweight title. These two ended 2020 with an incredible fight that saw the two men fight to a draw.

They ran things back this year and Moreno completely dominated the fight and submitted Figueiredo. They will fight for a third time at UFC 270 in January. Now, the popular pick right now is taking Brandon Moreno. In trilogies, whoever wins the second fight is much more likely to win the third.

However, I still believe that Figueiredo is the best flyweight in the world when he’s at his best. I don’t believe we saw the best Figueiredo during their second fight. I think he’s going to be motivated for this third fight and I think he takes the belt back and keeps it for the rest of 2022.

Bantamweight – Petr Yan

Currently, the UFC bantamweight champion is Aljamain Sterling (20-3). Petr Yan (16-2) is the interim champion. These two fought back in March and Yan was dominating the fight. However, Sterling won the title after Yan hit him with an illegal knee in the fourth round.

Due to neck surgery, we haven’t seen Sterling since. Yan went on to fight and defeat Cory Sandhagen for the interim title back at UFC 267. Make no mistake about it, Petr Yan is the best bantamweight in the world.

He’s going to fight Sterling in the first part of 2022 and I think he finishes him. After that, he’s likely going to have to face TJ Dillashaw (17-4) at some point and that’s going to be a very tough fight. However, I don’t see anyone at 135 defeating Yan next year.

Featherweight – Alexander Volkanovski

Arguably the one UFC champion that I feel like I’ve underestimated the most is Alexander Volkanovski (23-1). I thought the featherweight champion was the third best featherweight entering 2021 behind Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.

When the year started, I thought Ortega would become champion. However, Volkanovski showed the world that he was the best featherweight when he brutalized Ortega at UFC 267. In reality, Volkanovski is likely going to have his trilogy with Max Holloway next.

There just isn’t any other appealing contenders in the UFC’s featherweight division. When Holloway defeated Calvin Kattar to start 2021, he looked like the best in the world. However, he didn’t against Yair Rodriguez while Volkanovski did against Ortega.

I think Volkanovski will defeat Holloway for a third time in 2022 and I think he will close the year as the UFC’s featherweight champion. Who knows, Volkanovski might even try to move up to lightweight after defeating Holloway for a third time.

Lightweight – Charles Oliveira

The division with the biggest stars in the sport is the UFC’s lightweight division. The lightweight division is incredibly stacked with big names and big talents. That said, nobody in the world is better than the champion, Charles Oliveira (32-8).

Oliveira has shown the world this year just how special he is. In the last 12 months, he’s brutalized Tony Ferguson and finished both Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier. Next, he will take on Justin Gaethje (23-3). Gaethje will be another massive challenge, but I’m picking Oliveira in that one.

The one guy to watch to challenge Oliveira is Islam Makhachev (21-1). The only man in the world I think who can beat Oliveira right now is Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib is of course retired, but his protégé fights very similar to him.

Makhavchev is fighting Beneil Dariush in the first part of 2022. Whoever wins that fight will be in line for a UFC title shot. Assuming Oliveira gets through Gaethje, I think we are setting up for a late summer clash between Oliviera and Makhachev.

UFC: Aljamain Sterling wants to fight Petr Yan in January or February

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 267, Petr Yan (16-2) took on Cory Sandhagen (14-4) for the interim bantamweight championship. The winner of this matchup was expected to unify the UFC bantamweight title against Aljamain Sterling (20-3).

The fight started out like many Petr Yan fights. He likes to almost take the first round to download what his opponent is doing. In a way, he reminds me a lot of Floyd Mayweather. The opponent will get a little lead in the opening round while he figures the opponent out.

Sandhagen was doing a really good job of using his range early in round one. To the outside eye, Sandhagen was looking like a difficult puzzle for Yan at UFC 267. However, Yan was just getting started and he was analyzing what Sandhagen was doing.

Everything changed once the second round started. On my scorecard, Yan won every round after the first round at UFC 267. He hurt Sandhagen a few times including dropping him once. His counters were precise and it was a clear decision win for Yan who became the interim bantamweight champion.

UFC Unification Bout

Today on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the UFC champion Aljamain Sterling appeared to talk about the timeline of the unification bout. The Funkmaster said that he texted UFC match maker Sean Shelby immediately after the fight between Yan and Sandhagen concluded.

Sterling said that he wants the UFC to make the fight for either January or February. Originally, Sterling was supposed to rematch with Yan at UFC 267. The interim title came about when Sterling wasn’t cleared to compete after undergoing neck surgery earlier this year.

Sterling captured the title at UFC 259 when he defeated Yan by disqualification. That fight honestly went a lot like the Yan – Sandhagen fight. Sterling got off to a really good start, and once Yan downloaded the data, it became a beating.

Yan landed an illegal knee which caused the fight to end in the fourth round. Now, the two men will settle the score and determine who is the true best bantamweight in the UFC. Look for this fight to take place in Q1 of next year, but the exact date won’t be finalized for a few weeks.

Petr Yan defeats Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267

In the co-main event of UFC 267, we saw a battle for the interim bantamweight title. Former bantamweight champion Petr Yan (15-2) was trying to regain some gold as he took on “The Sandman” Cory Sandhagen (14-3).

This matchup came together after the champion, Aljamain Sterling, wasn’t cleared to compete following neck surgery. Yan lost the title to Sterling back at UFC 259 in an extremely controversial manner. The former champion was completely dominating the latter half of the fight.

However, an illegal knee caused the fight to end and Sterling won the UFC title by DQ. It was also the first UFC loss for Yan who had started out a perfect 7-0 inside the octagon on his way to capturing the title.

Cory Sandhagen would have likely had a title shot against Yan earlier this year had Yan not lost by DQ. He was the clear number one contender, but was forced to sit on the sidelines waiting his turn. The UFC decided to book Sandhagen against TJ Dillashaw.

Dillashaw won a razor close split decision, but suffered a knee injury due to a heel hook attempt by Sandhagen. With Dillashaw out and the fight having been razor close, the UFC opted for Sandhagen as Yan’s challenger.

UFC 267 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 267 co-main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Yan immediately takes the center as Sandhagen circles along the outside. Nice leg kick lands for Sandhagen. Good jab for Sandhagen as well. Powerful low kick from Yan finds it’s home.

Good right hand for Sandhagen who looks really sharp here early on. Powerful leg kick from Sandhagen nearly spins around Yan. Another jab and leg kick lands for Sandhagen. Massive left hook just misses from Yan.

Yan turning up the pressure a little but Sandhagen immediately retakes the center with a big hook to the body. Body kick lands for Yan and Sandhagen counters with a combination to the body. Another leg kick lands for Sandhagen.

Good combination from Sandhagen and then Sandhagen gets a body lock on Yan. Yan walks to the cage and is able to separate. Another good combination lands for Sandhagen. Powerful body kick lands for Petr Yan. Both men exchange big leg kicks.

Sandhagen doubling up on the jab. Early on the reach is a massive advantage for Sandhagen. Body kick from Sandhagen. Lead left hook and jab lands for Sandhagen. Lots of pressure from Sandhagen who shoots for another takedown.

Big elbow lands for the former UFC champion. Calf kick from Yan lands just as the round ends. Great first round for The Sandman at UFC 267.

Round 2

Entering the second round at UFC 267 and the momentum is definitely with Sandhagen. Yan takes the center again to start the second. Body kick from Yan opens up the striking. Powerful leg kick from Yan lands. Another big body klick from Yan who is opening up more.

Sandhagen pushes forward and looks for a combination. Powerful rip to the body from Yan. Sandhagen unleashes his own shot to the body. Yan lands a body kick but Sandhagen again counters with a beautiful shot to the body.

Nice hook lands for Sandhagen and Yan counters with a leg kick. Body kick from Yan then he goes to the leg. Big left hook over the top from Petr Yan. Sandhagen is definitely slower here in the second round. Another big left lands for Petr Yan.

Sandhagen pushes forward and tries to get it back with his own big left hand. Huge combination from Yan lands just after. Nasty body kick from Petr Yan lands and Sandhagen opens up his hands to counter. Big takedown attempt from Sandhagen is stuffed by Yan.

Big elbow on the break from Yan. Sandhagen missing a lot more here in the second round as Yan plots forward. Nice left hand lands for Yan. Sandhagen landed some decent shots but round two at UFC 267 was all about Petr Yan.

Round 3

I have it all even after two here at UFC 267. Yan takes the center again to start the third. Sandhagen is the one that starts the striking in this round with a nice combination. Nice spinning back kick to the body lands for Yan.

Sandhagen with a nice leg kick. Left straight lands for Yan and Sandhagen responds with a straight shot of his own. Hand fighting in the center and both men looking for an opening. Huge rip to the body for Yan. 1-2 lands for Sandhagen.

Both men displaying really good defense here in the second. Big uppercut lands for Yan and he lands a nice straight behind it. Sandhagen tries to answer but Yan’s defense is clean. Yan pushes forward and lands a couple of additional big shots on Sandhagen.

Sandhagen looks for his jab as he circles. Another big combination lands for Yan and Sandhagen tries to respond but nothing home. Massive body kick from Yan and then he follows it with a combination that drops Sandhagen.

Yan is all over him here and Sandhagen is trying to survive. A scramble finds Sandhagen on top but Yan scrambles and they are back to standing. Round comes to a close and it’s 2-1 Yan at UFC 267.

Round 4

Entering the fourth at UFC 267 and Sandhagen needs to get some momentum back. Yan pushes forward immediately to start the fourth round. Sandhagen working his feints and lands a really nice straight right hand.

Yan counters with a big combination of his own. Sandhagen going back to his jabs which seems to be working here in the fourth. However, Yan is blasting him back with massive power, but Sandhagen is taking it well.

Clean counter lands for the former champion. Yan pressuring Sandhagen against the fence then unloads with a combination. Sandhagen is really starting to get busted up by Yan here in the fourth round.

Sandhagen shoots in for a takedown and is able to get Yan down. He tries for a heel hook but Yan slips right out and they are back to striking. Once they are, Yan really starts turning it on. Huge shots up top and huge shots to the body lands for Yan.

Sandhagen is looking hurt to me here in the fourth round. Another massive combination from Yan lands and Sandhagen is starting to swell up. Huge shot lands for Yan which forces a Sandhagen shot. Yan is in complete control here. The round ends and it’s 3-1 Yan at UFC 267.

Round 5

Entering the final round and Cory Sandhagen needs a finish at UFC 267. Yan immediately moves forward again to start the fifth. Sandhagen looks a little more fresh here in the fifth as he starts to work his jab.

Two good left hooks land for Yan and he spins Sandhagen with a low kick. Sandhagen looks for a flying knee but doesn’t come close. Big shot lands for Yan. Body kick lands for Yan and Sandhagen circles on the outside.

Yan plotting forward and looks for big shots but Sandhagen dodges well. Sandhagen looks much better here in the final round. Nice combination lands for Sandhagen. Huge head kick from Yan lands right on the chin and Sandhagen just eats it.

Sandhagen pushes forward and rips to the body to counter. Nice uppercut lands for Yan as Sandhagen circles. Another good combination from Yan. Body kick from Sandhagen and Yan again plots forward. Big spinning back fist lands for Yan then he lands a clean left straight.

Nice knee from Sandhagen and these two just throw down as the final round comes to a close. Insane fight and Petr Yan should be getting UFC gold wrapped around his waste.

Petr Yan def. Cory Sandhagen by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

UFC 267 Preview: Petr Yan – Cory Sandhagen

Tomorrow in the co-main event of UFC 267, we will see a battle for the interim bantamweight title. Former bantamweight champion Petr Yan (15-2) will try to regain some gold as he takes on “The Sandman” Cory Sandhagen (14-3).

This matchup came together after the champion, Aljamain Sterling (20-3), wasn’t cleared to compete following neck surgery. Yan lost the title to Sterling back at UFC 259 in an extremely controversial manner. The former champion was completely dominating the latter half of the fight.

However, an illegal knee caused the fight to end and Sterling won the UFC title by DQ. It was also the first UFC loss for Yan who had started out a perfect 7-0 inside the octagon on his way to capturing the title.

Cory Sandhagen would have likely had a title shot against Yan earlier this year had Yan not lost by DQ. He was the clear number one contender, but was forced to sit on the sidelines waiting his turn. The UFC decided to book Sandhagen against TJ Dillashaw.

Dillashaw won a razor close split decision, but suffered a knee injury due to a heel hook attempt by Sandhagen. With Dillashaw out and the fight having been razor close, the UFC opted for Sandhagen as Yan’s challenger.

UFC 267 Prediction

In Sandhagen’s last fight, I was incredibly impressed with how well he did on the feet. He was able to use his length to strike well from distance and even hurt TJ Dillashaw a couple of times. His range striking could come into play at UFC 267.

His ground skills are also something to watch out for tomorrow. However, it’s going to be incredibly tough stopping Petr Yan. Yan is the kind of fighter who gets better and better as the fight goes on. I’m expecting success early from Sandhagen until Yan figures things out.

If Yan can survive early, which I’m expecting, I think he’s going to really pour it on late at UFC 267. Yan won his first title on Fight Island and he’s going to win another tomorrow as I’m expecting him to flourish later in the fight and pick up a late stoppage.

Prediction: Petr Yan by TKO – Round 5

UFC books interim title fight between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen

UFC 267 has a new co-main event. Over the weekend we learned that bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling (20-3) was out of his title defense against Petr Yan (15-2) next month on Fight Island.

Sterling had next surgery earlier in the year and was trying to make his comeback to defend against Yan. Yan lost the title to Sterling back at UFC 259. The title change was controversial considering Sterling won by disqualification in a fight he was clearly losing.

Due to the nature of the fight, the UFC decided to run things back immediately. However, Sterling is going to need more time as doctors wouldn’t clear him to defend his title next month.

The promotion wanted to move forward with an interim title fight that featured Yan. The first choice was TJ Dillashaw (17-4). Dillashaw is ranked right behind Yan and just returned in July.

The former UFC champion defeated Cory Sandhagen (14-3) in his return, however, the fight was razor close. During the fight, Dillashaw suffered a knee injury which required surgery. With him still recovering, he wasn’t an option.

Sandhagen’s UFC Title Shot

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news today that Sandhagen will now be getting a shot at Yan for the interim title at UFC 267. Sandhagen was the favorite for a title shot after he knocked out Frankie Edgar with a flying knee earlier in 2021.

However, after the UFC 259 result between Yan and Sterling, Sandhagen was forced to take a fight with Dillashaw. While two scorecards went for Dillashaw, many believe that Sandhagen won the fight. Now, due to two injuries, Sandhagen is getting his UFC title shot that many believe he deserved all along.

Before the Dillashaw loss, Sandhagen had gone 7-1 in the UFC with his lone loss coming against Aljamain Sterling. Sandhagen is looked at as someone who will definitely be a UFC champion at some point in his career.

He has all the tools and physical attributes to become a champion it’s just a matter of putting it all together. Now, he’s going to have his chance to do it. This is a fantastic fight and in my opinion, UFC 267 just got a lot more interesting.