“Interim title” is a phrase UFC fans have grown tired of hearing, so with that in mind, here’s an article about a fighter suggesting an interim title.
Two-division champion Henry Cejudo is expected to be out for the rest of 2019 due to shoulder surgery, which means both the flyweight and bantamweight titles will be on the shelf potentially into 2020.
Among the fighters at 135 lbs looking for a title shot is Petr Yan. The Russian had suggested last week that he fight fellow contender Aljamain Sterling for an interim belt, and now he’s doubled down on that statement in a follow-up tweet.
With Cejudo out with injury, this fight makes even more sense https://t.co/L8rSJccyBI— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) June 20, 2019
Yan’s manager Daniel Rubenstein spoke to MMAjunkie about his fighter’s rise up the ranks and further emphasized that Petr is very willing to fight for interim gold.
“At this point, Petr has fought five times, five wins, in under 12 months,” Rubenstein said. “No one has ever done that in the bantamweight division of the UFC. I feel Petr has earned his title shot at Henry, but with Henry being out for the rest of the year, if the UFC wants to do an interim title vs. Sterling, Petr is more than happy to oblige.”
Yan and Sterling have wasted no time jawing at each other on Twitter.
No Mercy > Funk Master https://t.co/bT0t84jqAS— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) June 20, 2019
Keep talking “wank master” ♂️ https://t.co/mru9fbDPXk— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) June 20, 2019
Seems like you’re doing all the talking. My opinion is the Munhoz is a tougher fight than you. You get butt hurt about it and decide to write me. Let me guess... I wouldn’t like you when you’re angry?— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) June 21, 2019
Time will tell who is who Peter Pan https://t.co/liUwNw1Vmy
Yan (13-1) is coming off a unanimous decision over Jimmie Rivera at UFC 238, representing his biggest victory to date. On that same night, Sterling (18-3) extended his winning streak to four with a comprehensive decision over Pedro Munhoz.
Both men are ranked in the top-five in the division, and whether it’s for an interim title or not, this would certainly be one hell of a fight to make.