Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Petr Yan is a UFC world champion and, as expected, is already being asked about his first title defense.
Following his bantamweight title win at UFC 251 on Saturday night, Yan spoke with reporters backstage on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and was asked about the rightful opponent and timing for his first title defense.
“I think October will be a perfect time,” Yan said. “I think Aljamain Sterling deserves to fight for the title. He’s on a good streak and beat a lot of good guys.”
Yan finished ex-featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo in the fifth round to capture the vacant title. “No Mercy” gained momentum into the championship rounds and put away the gritty ex-champ with a flurry of punches before the referee finally stepped in to wave it off.
The new champ broke his own personal record of most significant strikes in a fight while also eating a lot of heavy shots from Aldo. After a very active start to his octagon career that now includes his first promotional title, Yan is focused on getting back home and healing his wounds.
“I want to rest now and recover,” Yan stated. “I want to go back to my home land and see my family, and then it’s the work of my management team. In my first 18 months with the UFC, I took six fights and never said no to an offer. You’ll probably find out, soon.”
During and after the fight, former champion Henry Cejudo took to Twitter to give his thoughts on Yan’s performance.
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 12, 2020
When asked about the now-retired champ’s comments, Yan didn’t seem phased in any way.
“They can say whatever they want now, but it’s my time,” Yan said. “I will fight anyone and beat anyone.”