Chael Sonnen feels the UFC bantamweight division is a mess and we have Petr Yan to thank.
Yan competed for the vacant UFC bantamweight title on July 11. He met Jose Aldo on the main card of UFC 251. Yan scored a fifth-round TKO victory to capture UFC gold for the first time in his pro MMA career.
While many have called for Aljamain Sterling to receive the next crack at Yan, the newly minted 135-pound champion has been taking digs at Cody Garbrandt. In a new video posted on his YouTube channel, Sonnen expressed his belief that Petr Yan has created a confusing situation.
“You wanna know who confused it? The new champ [Petr Yan],” Sonnen said when talking about what Petr Yan has done with the 135-pound division. “The new champ hasn’t said Aljo’s name. The new champ won’t quit saying Cody’s name. Aljo’s sitting out thinking he’s got a world title fight coming out with Yan but guess who else has it brought? The former champ [Cody Garbrandt], who’s being called out by the champ. Can you at least agree with me we have a bit of a problem here? For me to call this a mess, that qualifies as a mess doesn’t it?”
Yan has been seemingly trying to goad Cody Garbrandt into a fight. He even posted a picture of himself hanging out with Garbrandt’s longtime mentor and training partner Urijah Faber. It’s well-known that the Team Alpha Male loyalty runs deep within Garbrandt, so Yan took this opportunity to get under “No Love’s” skin.
Months prior to capturing the UFC bantamweight championship, Petr Yan was hurling verbal shots at Garbrandt. When BJPENN.com reached out to Yan back in Dec. 2019, he said the following.
“Maybe he has speed and power but he can’t take a punch. So it’s just a matter of time before I can catch him and after that, you will see another fall of the man with no chin,” he said. “Now I understand he talks big just to stay relevant. Trying to attach his name to mine, because I just won the fight and I’m on the rise. He needs to win a fight first before calling me out.”
While bad blood has been brewing between Petr Yan and Cody Garbrandt, there’s a chance we may not see the bout materialize. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that Garbrandt is still mulling over possibly moving down to the flyweight division.
Do you think Petr Yan has created a mess in the UFC bantamweight division?