‘I want to fight him at some point for sure,’ UFC Bantamweight Champion Petr Yan has TJ Dillashaw in sight
Petr Yan is one of the rising superstars of Mixed Martial Arts. In just over 2 years after making his UFC debut, the Russian fighter captured the bantamweight title after beating MMA legend Jose Aldo. It wasn’t just the fight that captured the imagination of the MMA world but the way Yan defeated a UFC stalwart like Aldo.
Yan dominated the whole fight by outsmarting and out striking Aldo in the first three rounds. However, in the fourth round, Yan unleashed a fury of strikes that grounded Aldo. Then he went for the kill shot and started landed some heavy hammer fists as Aldo tried to cover. The referee stopped the fight and Yan became the new undisputed UFC Bantamweight champion. He has defeated established fighters like Jimmie River, John Dodson and Uriah Hall en route to the bantamweight crown and has clearly established himself as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world
Petr Yan spoke to the Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview and talked about the Aldo fight while discussing his future fights.
Your next opponent is likely to be Aljamain Sterling. What do you think of your opponent?
He has a five-fight winning streak and has been earning plaudits. He is a good strong opponent and deserves to fight for the title. But I’m ready to prove to everyone that I’m on a different level
When do you think the fight could happen? Start of next year or at the end of 2020?
Hopefully, I can defend my belt before the end of the year.
Former champion TJ Dillashaw is going to make his comeback soon. Would you be willing to grant him a title match or will he first have to earn his opportunity?
He definitely will be in the mix, I want to fight him at some point for sure. It’s up to UFC if he deserves to fight for the title right away.
Jose Aldo is one of the greatest ever. You fought with him earlier this year and got a good look at him. Do you think he will be able to challenge for the title again?
His age might not be an issue but he has been accumulating losses in the past year. Jose looked great in our fight and I believe he can still beat a lot of top fighters in our division. It’s in his hands to accomplish that.
Jose has been on a decline since the Conor fight. Before UFC 194 he was unbeaten for almost 10 years. Now he has won just 3 in his last 9. Do you think a loss to Conor had a big effect on him?
I think only Jose can answer this question. This is a tough sport and the level of competition is always growing. Technically he is still getting better as a fighter.
If you could book one fight for yourself, who would you like your opponent to be?
To be honest, I don’t care, at the end of the day I will fight all top fighters in our division
Watch Holly Holms take on Irene Aldana on October 4, 2020 LIVE and Exclusive on the Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 3 (Hindi) channels from 8.00 am IST