Sterling suggested that Yan’s recent back-and-forth fight against Cory Sandhagen validated his belief that he’s more than capable of winning their rematch.
To this day, Aljamain Sterling remains the only MMA fighter to hold a stoppage victory over Cory Sandhagen. Sterling dominantly defeated ‘The Sandman’ via first-round submission at UFC 250 in June 2020.
Furthermore, the first fight between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan took place at UFC 259 in March of this year. It witnessed ‘Funk Master’ win via disqualification after Yan landed an illegal knee. Sterling thereby became the new UFC bantamweight champion. However, he’s been out of action ever since due to injury issues.
Petr Yan subsequently faced Cory Sandhagen for the interim UFC bantamweight title at UFC 267 in October. Yan won the fight via unanimous decision and is currently the interim UFC bantamweight champion.
On that note, Aljamain Sterling spoke to Michael Bisping and Brendan Fitzgerald octagon-side at the UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodriguez event. In a video posted to Bisping’s official YouTube channel, ‘Funk Master’ addressed his long-awaited rematch against Petr Yan:
“February or March,” Sterling said when asked to provide a timeline for his return to the octagon.
Furthermore, upon being questioned whether his comeback fight would be a rematch against Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling stated, “Hundred percent. And that fight with him and Sandhagen gives me all the confidence in the world because he’s a human being. I know he can bleed, and I know he can be choked the f**k out. And that’s what I’m going to do.”
You can watch Aljamain Sterling’s conversation with Michael Bisping and Brendan Fitzgerald in the video below:
Petr Yan is open to fighting TJ Dillashaw if the Aljamain Sterling rematch fails to materialize
In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Petr Yan sounded off on Aljamain Sterling, and opined that ‘Funk Master’ doesn’t really intend to face him again. The bitter rivals were originally set to clash in a rematch at UFC 267.
However, Sterling was pulled from the bout due to failing his pre-fight medicals due to his ailing injuries.
Resultantly, Petr Yan faced Cory Sandhagen and beat him to win the interim belt. The consensus is that Yan will face Aljamain Sterling in a title unification bout in 2022. The winner of their fight would then emerge as the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion.
Regardless, Petr Yan has emphasized that he’s looking to return in February or March 2022. ‘No Mercy’ has indicated that if Aljamain Sterling doesn’t return to face him in a rematch by that time, then he’d rather face former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw.
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