UFC 267 Fight Breakdown: Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the co-main event of UFC 267, a five-round UFC interim bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen. The event takes place on Saturday, October 30 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Petr Yan (-240)

Yan (15-2) is the No. 1 contender in the UFC bantamweight division. The 28-year-old Russian is the former champion, having lost his belt in a controversial fashion against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 earlier this year via DQ. Prior to landing an illegal knee, Yan was dominating the fight and was well on his way to defending his belt before he made a bonehead decision to land the illegal knee. Overall, Yan is 7-1 in the UFC with the lone loss against Sterling and wins over the likes of Jose Aldo, Urijah Faber, and Jimmie Rivera. Throughout his UFC career, Yan has shown tremendous striking skills as well as knockout power for a bantamweight. In addition, he has also mixed takedowns into his game in order to make him a truly well-rounded fighter. Going up against Sandhagen, Yan will be giving up some height and reach as he looks to reclaim his belt.

Cory Sandhagen (+200)

Sandhagen (14-3) is the No. 3 contender in the UFC bantamweight division. The 29-year-old American is 7-2 overall in the UFC with wins over the likes of Frankie Edgar, Marlon Moraes, Raphael Assuncao, and John Lineker, with his lone UFC losses coming against Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw. A talented striker, Sandhagen has flashed his incredible knockout ability in his wins over Edgar and Moraes. In his last fight against Dillashaw, Sandhagen lost a close split decision in what was a back-and-forth war. Many fans felt that Sandhagen did enough to win that fight, but the judges sided with Dillashaw due to him having more takedowns and control. However, Sandhagen did a lot of damage on the feet in that fight, and he’s the one who ended up getting the title shot with Sterling and Dillashaw both injured. Sandhagen now has the opportunity of a lifetime to win the UFC bantamweight title when he takes on the former champion Yan on Fight Island.

Fight Breakdown: This should be an awesome fight between two of the best bantamweights on the planet. Yan is a master striker with huge power who is also able to take his opponents down to the mat when necessary. Sandhagen, meanwhile, is a devastating KO artist himself who also has very good cardio and durability. I’m picturing a competitive fight that may end up going the distance, and I expect the scorecards to come into play. However, I do feel like the biggest difference between both of these fighters is that Yan has the grappling skills to take this fight down to the ground. If we have seen one hole in Sandhagen’s game it is his defensive grappling. In what should be a fun co-main event fight, I expect Yan to outpoint Sandhagen and win back his bantamweight belt by decision.

Prediction: Petr Yan

Written by Adam Martin.

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