In the first of three title fights on the card, Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling are finally set to fight. It’s a very intriguing bout with many thinking Sterling is the better grappler while Yan is the better striker.
For Dillashaw, he believes Yan is the better fighter, but Sterling has a unique style that is hard to fight and train for. The former champion also wonders if Yan’s grappling has improved since his first career loss in 2016 as he was taken down a few times.
“He lost in the past to a guy that’s in Bellator just by getting outwrestled, so we’ll see the gains he’s made in his MMA wrestling,” Dillashaw told Mike Swick on the “Real Quick with Mike Swick” podcast (via MMAJunkie). “I would still probably put my money on Yan just because he’s a little more well-rounded structurally and on the feet. I think he’ll be able to keep the distance good enough. But you can’t underestimate a tough-nosed wrestler. So he can’t be counting his chickens before they hatch because he’s trying to call me out, but he’s got to get past Sterling and stay on top.”
TJ Dillashaw also hopes he will get to fight whoever wins for the title next time out. The former champion is now eligible to return from suspension, and Yan has made it clear he wants to face Dillashaw. It would be a big fight, but whether or not the former champ will get an immediate title shot is uncertain.
Who do you think wins: Petr Yan or Aljamain Sterling?