Peter, avenge the “potato”! Cejudo is the only top opponent available to Yan
Igor Nekrasov May 22, 2023, 17:05 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Defeating an Olympic champion is the toughest challenge for a Russian.
The UFC bantamweight division is arguably the most competitive in the organization right now. The next title fight will take place on August 20 at UFC 292. Aljamain Sterling, if he manages to heal his injury, will defend his belt against Sean O’Malley and if he wins, he will most likely vacate the title and move up. to the top. division with Alexander Volkanovski. But there will still be plenty of contenders for the coveted belt in the bantamweight division.
Returning after a three-year layoff, Henry Cejudo lost to Sterling and now sits third in the standings. He immediately tried to challenge the first number in the ranking, Merab Dvalishvili, but the champion’s closest friend acted in the best tradition of Sterling himself: the Georgian fighter underwent surgery and now it is not known when he will be able to return to the court. octagon.
The fourth number of the division Cory Sandhagen, most likely, will receive as a rival Umar Nurmagomedov – the fight has not been officially announced, but it has been talked about for more than a week. As it turns out, in the UFC Top 5 Bantamweights there are only two fighters who currently have no opponent: Henry Cejudo and Peter Yan. And this fight would be a great opportunity for the Russian to not only get back on the winning streak, but also immediately get closer to the belt he owned not so long ago.
Ian has several options.
The last two years in the UFC have been catastrophic for Peter. On March 7, 2021, Ian hit the same knee that made Sterling an internet meme champion and hero, and the Russian’s own career was derailed. Petya then defeated Corey Sandhagen in outlandish style, but three losses followed. Two of them are controversial separate decisions. But the third defeat was unconditional: Peter could not oppose anything to Merab Dvalishvili and his fight.
Peter, what was that? We don’t remember when Ian was so defenseless
Peter took a break, does not appear in the media and calmly prepares for his return. Kairat Nurmaganbetov, who worked as Yang’s trainer for a long time, named Russian Marlon Vera and Song Yadong, the UFC’s number six and number eight, respectively, among possible opponents. And on the one hand, this choice is obvious. Peter needs to win and recover mentally first and foremost. Marlon Vera seems to be a good choice in this regard: he is inferior to Peter in everything. The same applies to Song Yadong – with all due respect to the Chinese athlete, Peter looks much more preferable.
On the other hand, victories over Vera and Yadong will not bring Yan dividends in terms of rating, he will not bypass one of his taller rivals and will not come close to the title. Max: Bypasses Corey Sandhagen if the American loses to Nurmagomedov. Therefore, the fight against Cejudo in terms of title chances is of course much more attractive. But it is also much more complex.
For Cejudo – versatility, for Yang – age and posture
Cejudo returned after three years of inactivity and had a great fight with the champion. Yes, Henry lost a split decision, but Sterling’s win, like most of his wins, was highly controversial. Cejudo has great wrestling, good footwork, is more versatile as an MMA fighter than Jan. But for Peter: age and percussion technique. Also, Jan has great takedown defense, which could be a problem for Cejudo. If Henry can’t take Peter down, then Jan will be the favorite in the standing position.
Cejudo is back in the UFC in a big way. And Sterling won again by cunning
The interest in fighting is also a personal story. Even before Henry’s retirement, the wrestlers repeatedly skirmished on the Internet and at joint events. Cejudo called Peter “dad”, and the Russian called Henry a “triple clown”. But then he didn’t make it to the fight… Maybe, after three years, it’s time to ask Cejudo for “papas”? But this is a big risk. Another loss may end not only the Russian’s title ambitions, but his UFC career as a whole.