Former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan says that he is not interested in the Aljamain Sterling rematch even with a win at UFC 267.
Yan was supposed to fight Sterling in a rematch in the co-main event of UFC 267, which takes place on Saturday on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Yan and Sterling met earlier this year at UFC 259 when Yan was the champion defending his belt. However, Yan made a massive blunder in that fight when he landed an illegal knee on Sterling in the fourth round and finished him with it, leading to a disqualification. The ending of the fight was very controversial and the UFC immediately booked the rematch.
However, Sterling is not ready to fight due to lingering neck issues, and with Yan remaining adamant about staying on the UFC 267 card, the promotion got Cory Sandhagen to step up on short notice. The two will now duke it out for the interim 135lbs belt on Saturday.
Although the winner of the Yan vs. Sandhagen fight is expected to get the chance to unify the belt with Sterling in 2022, Yan says he’s not interested. Speaking to reporters ahead of UFC 267, Yan said that he is not interested in fighting his archrival Sterling again.
“Sterling needs the rematch to prove that he can do something. For me, I’m not interested in the rematch if I win the belt this Saturday,” Yan said (h/t MMAjunkie.com).
As for Sandhagen, Yan respects his opponents, but he believes he is better everywhere.
“He’s a well-deserving opponent who’s very versatile and very good everywhere,” Yan said. “In the fight, I just want to showcase in which aspect I am greater than him.”
Do you think Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling 2 is the fight to make next, or do you think the UFC should give Yan someone different like he requested?