#4-ranked bantamweight Petr Yan has been on a roll lately in the UFC. In his most recent fight, he defeated top contender Jimmie Rivera by unanimous decision.
What or who could be next for Petr Yan?
Well, first things first, he will need some time to recover from surgery. Yan underwent surgery on his elbow, following the Rivera fight and is expected to take anywhere from 6-8 weeks for recovery. Given that recovery time, we can expect to see a Petr Yan fight announcement by early September, if all goes well.
Yan holds a professional record of 13-1, undefeated since 2016, and currently riding an 8-fight win streak. I can’t imagine that he’s more than 1 fight away from a bantamweight title shot.
I see just two possible routes for Yan:
Option A: He ends up fighting #2-ranked bantamweight contender, Aljamain Sterling, in an interim title fight. The winner would unify the belt with Henry Cejudo upon his return in early 2020. This would make sense because if Yan sits out, there’s no guarantee he gets a title shot. Even if he does, he will be sitting out anywhere from 4-6 months. Might as well stay active!
Option B: He sits out and waits for Cejudo, hopes to get next title shot. I could see this happening, but it really isn’t the best plan. Many fighters like to wait it out and hope to receive that rematch or that title shot they deserve. But it doesn’t always pan out. And in this case, there’s no real guarantee that Yan is next, especially when Sterling is ranked above him.
I see Yan going with Option A though. He has already called out Sterling to fight on Twitter recently and I think he will keep pushing the idea. It doesn’t seem that the UFC has picked up on the chance of an interim title fight just yet, but maybe they will soon.
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The Scrap’s Kevin Mahoney is a college graduate from Salem State University who loves to write, make music, and watch MMA. Make sure to follow Kevin on Twitter (@KeysRealTalk) and listen to his Lee N Keys Real Talk Podcast every Wednesday on BlogTalkRadio.