The UFC bantamweight division is hotter than ever and Petr Yan plans on stamping his mark among all the big names.
Yan can start off by adding Urijah Faber to his resume when he meets him at UFC 245 on December 14 in Las Vegas. Faber came back from a three-year layoff and impressively knocked out Ricky Simon back in July.
With his own goals of becoming the champion, Faber could stake a claim for the next title shot by handing Yan his first defeat in the UFC. He also expects a three-round war, if not a finish.
“No Mercy” doesn’t see that happening, though. In fact, he wasn’t even impressed with Faber’s comeback.
“I wasn’t amazed or impressed by his performance,” Yan told The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko. “He landed his shots because his opponent wasn’t [concentrating] enough. I also think they stopped the fight a little early. I’m not impressed by his performance, I’m not impressed by him at all. His haircut, his terrible haircut will be in my way with my hands. I just hope he cuts his hair before the fight.
“… Don’t get me wrong. I don’t underestimate him. I’m very focused. I don’t care who fights with me, if it’s Faber or [Henry] Cejudo. I’m coming for the win. I don’t care.”
A win for Yan would put him at 6-0 with the promotion which could put him in place as the next title challenger. However, it’s not guaranteed.
That’s especially the case with other pivotal bantamweight matchups taking place such as Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Moraes at UFC 245 as well as Frankie Edgar vs. Cory Sandhagen at UFC Raleigh.
Aldo, in particular, will be interesting to see at bantamweight given how he has struggled to make the featherweight limit in the past. But for Yan, making the move down instead of going up is a bad idea.
“To be honest, I don’t think he’ll be successful in this division because this division has different standards,” Yan explained. “You have to have speed, high-pace. If you’re not at the highest level in the featherweight division, it will be hard in the bantamweight division too.
“He’s a legend of the sport, he’s done a lot of great things. But we’re talking about today. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
That said, Yan would still fight Aldo if Cejudo is not ready to defend his title. He would even fight other legends such as Dominick Cruz and Frankie Edgar. He’s just not sure if they would reciprocate.
“I’m not the guy who’s going to sit around and wait for a title shot,” Yan added. “I want to show with actions that I deserve to be the champion. Of course, I will fight anyone.
“As you know, all those guys you mentioned, they don’t even mention my name. If they have the heart, the balls to face me, they’re welcome. I will be more than glad to do it. Pay me money and I’ll fight every weekend.”
You can watch the full interview below: