Petr Yan has been running through the UFC’s bantamweight division and at UFC 245, he was opened the pay-per-view card against Urijah Faber. It was the biggest fight of his career, and the perfect opportunity to make a statement.
Ultimately, that is what Yan did. He looked impressive throughout the fight, dropping Faber numerous times with vicious elbows, knees, and punches.
Finally, after opening up a nasty cut beside the UFC Hall of Famer’s eye, Yan knocked him out cold in the third round. It was a dominating performance from the Russian, yet he wasn’t completely happy with it as he knows he could have been better.
“I don’t think it was a perfect fight, I was just enjoying myself doing my job,” Petr Yan said to BJPENN.com through his translator Sayat Abdrakhmanov. “I like to express myself in the Octagon and I had fun that night.”
With the win over Faber, Yan put himself right into the title conversation at bantamweight. After the performance, many fans took to social media to call for a fight between Yan and bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo. Although the win may earn Yan that opportunity, it also did something else for him. He’s realized he has gained a ton of fans. The Russian didn’t realize how popular Faber was until after the scrap when his social media started blowing up.
“During the fight week and at the event, I [just] realized how popular Faber is in the USA,” he explained. “Hopefully I gained some new fans that night and got closer to the title.”
Whether or not Petr Yan gets the next title shot is to be seen. But, he makes it clear UFC 245 was not the best he can be.
Were you impressed by Petr Yan at UFC 245?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/19/2019.