Petr Yan is ready for the possibility of Aljamain Sterling pulling out of their rematch again.
Yan and Sterling were originally expected to face off over the weekend in the co-main event of UFC 267 to rematch their first fight that ended with Sterling taking the belt through disqualification. However, when Sterling had lingering issues with neck surgery, Cory Sandhagen stepped up for an interim title fight.
With Yan winning that fight, he is now expecting to face Sterling for a second time, hopefully, in the first quarter of 2022, he said on The MMA Hour. He also explained that even if something else comes up and Sterling pulls out again, he will be willing to fight whoever the UFC says.
“If he will be next, I will beat him up. If it’s not him, I’m not going to be too upset because I’ll just beat somebody else up,” Yan said.
“To be honest, I don’t know yet but probably February or March would be perfect (to fight him)… Of course, I understand that now it’s an even bigger fight and people expected to see it again. I believe I already beat him up once, but once I sign the contract, I will be 100% focused to do it again. This time I’m going to hurt him real bad.”
Given the way Sterling controversially won the title, with Yan getting disqualified after kneeing his grounded opponent in the head in a fight he was winning, the interim champ would not be surprised if Sterling pulled out again. He says that he lives in Sterling’s head rent free and that there is a solid chance they will never fight again because of it.
“I live inside his head. It’s 1,000% (that Sterling will pull out)… The man who ran away once can always run again. His heart is how a chicken’s heart is, very small.”
Hopefully nothing happens and the bantamweight division can get clarity in it once again.
You can watch the full interview below: