Petr Yan put up a wonderful five round performance against Cory Sandhagen, reclaiming the UFC Bantamweight Interim title in the co main event of UFC 267 on Saturday Night, October at the Ethiad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
The fighters staged a back and forth performance and at the end Yan (16-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) was awarded a unanimous decision victory over Cory Sandhagen (14-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) with scores 49-46 on three scorecards.
Both fighters threw a lot of punches in the fight and with volume being the key to Yan’s victory, it’s worthy to note that he was a as low starter in this fight. Sandhagen came out firing combinations that caused Yan a lot of troubles early in the fight. Yan in his part was able to handle Sandhagen’s takedown attempts.
The second round, Yan improved his activity, landing body kicks and leg kicks which triggered a back and forth battle between the two. Sandhagen had his jab while Yan continued his kicking however, his output increased and he was landing more.
Both fighters went for it, giving their all as one gave the other a strike, the other ups his efforts to connect a strike of his own. However, the most notable part of the fight was a spinning back punch that sent Sandhagen to the canvas. Yan jumped on Sandhage, looking to finish the fight with a ground and pound but Sandhagen threatened a leg submission forcing the fight to return back to their feets till the end of the round .
Both Yan and Sandhagen had their opportunities in round 4 and Sandhagen scored a takedown briefly and attempted finishing Yan off with a heel hook. However , Yan survived and after botb struggled with a 50-50 guard, they both found their way back to their feets before Yan blasted Sandhagen with a series of body shots that stunned the American, however, he was tough and survived before attempting a takedown before the end of the round.
Sandhagen was warned of the urgency required to win the fight in the final round by his corner and was urged to up the tempo but ones the fight started, the American instead went counter-punching and Yan capitalised, landed a big brutal head kick that forced a reaction from the crowd. Both fighters went wild with kicks and flying knees before the final horn and needed the referee to separate them when the fight ended.
The fight was initially a championship fight between champion Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan but the champ pulled out due to injury leaving Cory Sandhagen with the opportunity to come in and the UFC raised the stakes by inserting the Interim title.
Yan got back to the win column with the victory and had won 11 out of his 12 most recent outings. Yan cam into the fight on the back of a disqualification loss which remains the second loss on his otherwise great career. He is now expected to face Sterling in a unification fight sometime in 2022.
Sandhagen has now lost two fights in a row and his latest loss preceded by a split decision loss to T. J. Dillashaw. Before that loss, Sandhagen was on a two fight winning streak with victories over Marlon Moraes and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
UFC 267 Full Fight Card Results
Petr Yan Vs Cory Sandhagen UFC 267 Full Fight Photos