Former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan doesn’t believe he’s in much danger this Saturday.
‘No Mercy’ has been out of the octagon since his clash with Sean O’Malley last October. At UFC 280, the bantamweights put on a show for 15 minutes, but many felt the Russian did much of the better work. Nonetheless, Yan lost his second straight bout by split decision.
The former titleholder is slated to return to the octagon this Saturday night in Las Vegas. Yan will face Merab Dvalishvili, a teammate of his former rival, Aljamain Sterling. Heading into the matchup, ‘The Machine’, has stated that the bout is personal due to the former champion’s disrespect toward him.
Nonetheless, Petr Yan doesn’t think the bad blood will lead to a competitive fight. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, the former bantamweight champion previewed his matchup with Merab Dvalishvili.
There, Yan stated that stylistically, he doesn’t believe he’ll be in any danger on fight night. He also opined that there’s not much bad blood between the two, and while Dvalishvili might think the bout is personal, he doesn’t view it that way. For Yan, he’s just focused on reclaiming the gold.
“This isn’t personal at all,” says Petr Yan, speaking through a translator in the interview. “Our countries shouldn’t be involved. This is a fight. It is a competition… When I see him face to face, he’s not saying that to me. Dogs keep barking. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t matter. Wind is blowing, and mountains are still standing.” (h/t Sports Illustrated)
He continued, “I just need to keep winning. That will prove my contender status… He’s not going to put me in danger. His style, from what I’ve seen, does not threaten me. I believe I hold all the keys to victory.”
What do you make of these comments? Who do you think will win? Petr Yan or Merab Dvalishvili? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!