Petr Yan wasn’t surprised when he heard Aljamain Sterling pulled out of their rematch at UFC 267.
Yan and Sterling were supposed to have their highly-anticipated rematch in Abu Dhabi at UFC 267 in an intriguing matchup. They first fought back at UFC 259 in March where Sterling became the new champion due to Yan throwing an illegal knee and being DQ’d.
Immediately after the result, the plan was to do an immediate rematch which they booked for October. Yet, Sterling wasn’t medically cleared to fight him at UFC 267. Once that happened, Yan says he wasn’t surprised and told the UFC to keep him on the card.
“I wasn’t surprised, you could see it coming for a while. This guy doesn’t want to fight me again,” Yan said to BJPENN.com. “I don’t care about Sterling, my goal is to get the belt back. I’m not gonna wait for someone who doesn’t want to fight me.”
Petr Yan ended up staying on the card as he will face Cory Sandhagen for the interim title. He says it should be for the vacant belt, but all he cares about is winning the belt and being the UFC champion again.
If he gets his hand raised, Yan would rematch Sterling sometime in early 2022. However, for the Russian, he says he doubts the rematch will ever happen as he doesn’t think the current champ has the balls to fight him again.
“I’m not thinking about him until he grows the balls to enter the Octagon with me again,” Petr Yan said.
There is no question the rivalry between Yan and Sterling has only increased since their first fight. The two took shots at one another in the lead-up to the first fight, but since the illegal knee, the two’s rivalry has grown.
Do you agree with Petr Yan that Aljamain Sterling doesn’t want to fight him?