UFC: Petr Yan Suggests Next Opponent But Dana White Isn’t Convinced
Earlier this month, Petr Yan defeated Jose Aldo by fifth round TKO at UFC 251, to claim the vacant UFC bantamweight title. Following three intense rounds of back and forth battle, ‘No Mercy’ took control in the fourth round, before taking the former featherweight champion to the ground in the fifth. He then began to unleash some brutal ground and pound, forcing the referee to end the contest.
No sooner had his title reign begun, the new champion was asked who his first title defence should be against. Speaking at the UFC 251 post fight press conference (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), Yan named the bantamweight he feels deserves the first shot at his title.
“I think October will be a perfect time,” Yan said. “I think Aljamain Sterling deserves to fight for the title. He’s on a good streak and beat a lot of good guys.”
The fight saw both fighters taking multiple shots from each other. While Yan also broke his record for most significant strikes in a fight, landing 62 in the fifth round alone. However, the shots Aldo returned clearly took a lot out of ‘No Mercy’, who is currently focused on returning to his family and resting up.
“I want to rest now and recover,” Yan stated. “I want to go back to my home land and see my family, and then it’s the work of my management team. In my first 18 months with the UFC, I took six fights and never said no to an offer. You’ll probably find out, soon.”
In possibly the most stacked division in the UFC, Yan has some killers lining up for a shot at his belt. The Russian however, is prepared to face anyone the UFC puts in front of him.
“They can say whatever they want now, but it’s my time,” Yan said. “I will fight anyone and beat anyone.”
While many fans are calling for Sterling to get the next title shot, UFC president Dana White doesn’t appear to be sold on the idea. When asked about the possibility of the bout, he refused to confirm that the ‘Funk Master’ is next in line to face the new champion.
“I don’t know,” was Dana’s response when asked about Sterling at the UFC Fight Island 2 post fight press conference. “He’s in there. He’s up there. He’s one of them.”
Sterling, who currently has five wins in a row, including a “Performance of the Night” for his first round submission win over Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250, took to social media to express his frustrations.
He even went so far as to post his own promo.
Do you think Aljamain Sterling deserves the next title shot in the UFC bantamweight division, against the new champion, Petr Yan?