Thursday, December 2, 2021

Petr Yan On Dominick Cruz Getting Title Shot: ‘It’s A Big Hit For The UFC’s Reputation’

Petr Yan is not a fan of Dominick Cruz getting a title shot against Henry Cejudo at UFC 249 on May 9.

Cruz has not fought since he lost decisively to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 in December of 2016 to lose his bantamweight title. Since then, he has been dealing with injuries.

So, for Yan, he says Cruz getting a title shot coming off a loss and three and a half years away from the Octagon is bad for the UFC’s reputation.

“To be honest, moments like this in UFC kind of upset me,” Yan told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “He didn’t fight for three years and now he’s getting a title shot? It kind of upsets me and it’s a big hit for UFC reputation, in my opinion.”

The bantamweight division is stacked with contenders like Aljamain Sterling, Cory Sandhagen, and Yan. But, Cejudo has wanted to fight legends like Cruz and Aldo, so those three are still awaiting their shots.

He’s also confused as to why he wasn’t given the shot as Cruz won’t bring in that many pay-per-view buys.

“Maybe it’s because I’m not in America that I wasn’t granted this title shot. Or maybe it’s because I’m not American they didn’t give me this opportunity. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid of me and they don’t want to give the chance to win another title to a Russian fighter. Maybe they don’t want two Russian champions,” he said.

“I don’t think that [UFC’s] main goal. But to me it’s kind of unclear why they gave it to Cruz. I don’t think, in my opinion, he’s going to bring a lot of pay-per-views buys. I don’t know why. It’s kind of a difficult question for me.”

“I think there are more active and deserving fighters that could fight for the belt and I don’t understand why they’d give it to a guy that’s been so inactive for so long,” he added.

In the end, Petr Yan says he hasn’t lost respect for Cejudo. But, he is disappointed in who he has called out and the fact the UFC is allowing him to fight people on losing streaks.

“I can’t say I lost respect for [Cejudo]. I know that he’s playing his game, he’s doing his part. But it’s weird that the UFC also agrees with him. That’s kind of weird.”

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