Thursday, January 27, 2022

Sandhagen: Petr Yan Shouldn’t Call All The Shots After Being Gifted Title

Cory Sandhagen is having a hard time watching Petr Yan attempt to dictate the bantamweight pecking order considering his relatively easy path to the title.

Petr Yan experienced a very swift rise to the top of the UFC’s bantamweight division, with the Russian capturing the title in about two years’ time. Yan was able to establish an impressive 6-0 record before receiving the title shot, but the win that solidified the championship opportunity was over a 40-year-old Uriah Faber who was then towards the bottom of the rankings. Yan then won the title against Jose Aldo, who had not won a single fight at bantamweight for his entire career and was coming off a loss to Marlon Moraes. 

Cory Sandhagen “Frustrated” At Petr Yan Calling The Shots

However he got there, Petr Yan is now the undisputed bantamweight champion and is enjoying life at the top, which includes having a say over future opponents. Much to the chagrin of Cory Sandhagen, Yan’s preference for his next opponent should he get past Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 is a T.J. Dillashaw who is coming off a two-year USADA suspension. Sandhagen can’t help but find Yan’s behavior hard to stomach given what he believes to be the easy path to the title that Yan experienced.

“It’s kind of frustrating that Yan was a little bit served the belt on a silver platter,” Sandhagen told MMA Fighting. “The guy’s calling all the shots and talking like a big guy when it’s like you beat [Urijah] Faber to get a title shot and you beat [Jose] Aldo to win the belt.

Cory Sandhagen uncorks spinning heel kick to knockout Marlon Moraes in UFC  Fight Island 5 main event - MMA Fighting
Cory Sandhagen Knocks Out Marlon Moraes. Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

“My two wins ago now was a guy [Marlon Moraes] that beat Aldo and I knocked him out. That rubs me the wrong way, too, that Yan gets to call all of these shots when really he hasn’t had a rough go at it.”

Sandhagen’s gripe about Petr Yan’s behavior as champion may soon be eradicated if Yan loses the title to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259. Sandhagen is currently ranked at #2, right below Sterling. This means that based solely on the rankings, he should be next in line for a title shot. But if Yan retains the title and lobbies for a fight against T.J. Dillashaw, that will obviously complicate things significantly.

Do you think Petr Yan should be “calling all the shots” as the UFC bantamweight champion?

Related Articles