2019 was a great year for Petr Yan (6-0 UFC). He beat three solid opponents; including John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera and Urijah Faber. And against Faber, a former title contender, Yan scored a vicious third round knockout.
The Siberian fighter believes this should be enough to procure a coveted shot at the UFC bantamweight title.
The only fight that makes sense! No Mercy VS Triple Clown pic.twitter.com/pEphNoNOcv— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) December 18, 2019
In mid-December Yan posted a mock-up image of a fight poster between himself and Cejudo, titled: “The only fight that makes sense! No Mercy [Yan] VS Triple Clown [Cejudo].”
However, Cejudo does not want to face Yan next. Instead he has set his sights on former featherweight champion Jose Aldo for his first title defense.
‘No Mercy’ believes he should be next in line, not Aldo — who is coming off a loss to #1 ranked bantamweight Marlon Moraes, albeit in a close split decision.
Yan told MMAFighting, “You all can see that ‘Triple Clown’ [Cejudo] is trying to avoid the fight with me. He’s even afraid to mention my name. All I see is his mental weakness now. Let’s do it if you consider yourself a champion – try to prove that I’m wrong.”
However, Yan’s social media crusade to face Cejudo may have come to an end. The 26-year-old — who seems to have run out of patience with Cejudo — took to Twitter to instead call out the #2 bantamweight Aljamain Sterling, in what he has billed as a bout for the ‘real’ title.
“If triple clown @HenryCejduo [is] looking for easy “money” fights, he can go ahead and chase his intergender championship belt. While I will fight @funkmasterMMA [Sterling] for [the] real 135 belt #stopthecircus”.
Sterling (18-3) defeated Pedro Munhoz last time out and is not currently scheduled to fight. This is also not the first time Yan has called out the 30-year-old Sterling.
With Cejudo out with injury, this fight makes even more sense https://t.co/L8rSJccyBI— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) June 20, 2019
However, ‘Funkmaster’ — who has compiled his own case for the next bantamweight title shot — has made it clear that the best case scenario for him is a fight with Cejudo.
“Best case scenario is I get the title shot, I get to dethrone Henry.” Sterling said in his Weekly Scraps Podcast.
Nonetheless, Sterling — who recently underwent surgery on his wrist, citing a Scapholunate ligament tear — is not averse to facing Yan. The Serra-Longo Fight Team product has stated previously that he is ready to fight for an interim title shot.
The new year looks to be an exciting time for the bantamweight division. The former Olympic gold medalist, Cejudo, recently ‘relinquished’ his flyweight title. So with the champion not juggling defense duties between multiple divisions, and with several contenders knocking at the proverbial door of a title shot, let’s see what 2020 holds for the ‘135ers’.