Petr Yan believes his fight at UFC 251 against Jose Aldo was made for him to become the new UFC bantamweight champion.
After Henry Cejudo shockingly announced his retirement after UFC 249 on May 9, Dana White was quick to announce it would be Yan fighting someone for the vacant title. It was later revealed it would be against Jose Aldo, and for the Russian, he is pleased he is fighting for the belt and it will be against a legend like Aldo.
“I’m very happy to have this opportunity, I’m one step away from my goal of being a UFC champion. I’m very excited,” Petr Yan said to BJPENN.com. It’s great to be part of such a historical event on Fight Island during the pandemic. Jose is a big name and achieved a lot in this sport. I respect him a lot, but it won’t affect me in any way. July 11 he will be just an obstacle from my goal. I will make the most of this opportunity.”
Although Yan is fighting Aldo, he is not disappointed he is not getting his shot against Cejudo. The two traded shots at one another but couldn’t see who is better. Yet, the Russian says if “Triple C” comes back, he will happily share the Octagon with him.
“My goal is to win the belt, not fight Cejudo if he is not the champion,” he explained. “If he decides to come back we can fight. It’s only one way to find out who is better fighter.”
In this fight, Yan is the sizeable favorite and many assume this fight was made for him so he can be a UFC champion. Yet, he is not overlooking Aldo one bit as he knows the Brazilian is tough.
Ultimately, Petr Yan is confident in his skills that he will be able to beat Aldo in dominant fashion to become the new bantamweight champion.
“Our styles match up very well, I believe it will be a very exciting fight. I will control the fight and dictate how this fight will go,” Petr Yan said. “It will be my pace, my distance, and my terms. Right now, I don’t think about my legacy. I am just 100 percent focused on winning the title in the most dominant fashion.”
Should Petr Yan do just that, he knows he will have a ton of options for his first title defense. He could fight Aljamain Sterling, Marlon Moraes, or have his rivalry fight with Cody Garbrandt. But, for Yan, he wants to fight the number one contender and keep the bantamweight division moving again.
“At the end of the day, I will fight all of them sooner or later,” he concluded. “I prefer to fight real number one contenders, unlike former champion.”
Do you think Petr Yan will be able to beat Jose Aldo in dominant fashion as he says?