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Petr Yan sends message to current champ Aljamin Sterling in interim title win over Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267
Petr Yan has some UFC gold around his waist again, defeating Cory Sandhagen in the co-main event of UFC 267 to claim the interim UFC bantamweight championship.
Yan and current champ Aljamain Sterling were scheduled to face off in a rematch of their controversial UFC 259 bout but Sterling withdrew due to injury.
With his interim title win, Yan and Sterling are now expected to face off in a title unification match in 2022.
UFC 267: Petr Yan claims interim bantamweight championship in decision win over Cory Sandhagen
Sandhagen fought a competitive and highly technical first round, feeling it out with Yan before trying to pin Yan against the cage wall. Yan targeted the body in the opening frame with kicks, but Sandhagen landed a noteworthy number of shots on him.
Sandhagen continued to work his high-volume striking in the second round, but Yan closed the gap and arguably won the round, continuing to work the body while showing improved defense and using the Octagon to move around and dodge Sandhagen.
The third round proved to be just as competitive until a backfist and left hand dropped Sandhagen, which Yan followed up with swarming ground-and-pound and a couple of attempts to lock in a choke, which Sandhagen scrambled to avoid.
Yan continued to bring a high pace over the championship rounds, but Sandhagen gave one last moment in the closing seconds of the fight, forcing Yan back and throwing a flying knee.
Yan swept the scorecards 49-46.
UFC 267 takes place on Saturday, Oct. 30, live from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.
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