Fighters aren’t at 100% whenever they enter their respective bouts. As is the case with UFC interim bantamweight champion Petr Yan, who according to his manager Danny Rubenstein, has always been in some way compromised for his fights.
“His weight is good. (He has) no injuries, which is pretty much a first for him,” he said. “Every other fight, he’s had some kind of injury. The Jimmie Rivera fight, he was in the hospital the week before the fight.
“So everything has always been, with Petr, very difficult getting to the fight. He’s always made it there and always performed very well. But the fact that he’s healthy now and no injuries, I think it’s going to be a good week for him.”
Yan lost the undisputed title at UFC 269 last March after throwing a knee strike to opponent Aljamain Sterling’s head as he was down on the mat. It was an illegal strike that resulted in a disqualification win for the “Funkmaster.”
Rubenstein says Yan already paid the price for it and that these “slip-ups” are par for the course in the sport.
“He knows it was a mistake, and obviously he’s paid a dear price for it over the last year. I think he knows the rules,” Rubenstein said.
“Aljo’s had a lot of fun with it, which is fine – it sells the fight. I don’t expect there to be any issues this fight. But Petr’s a savage – he wants to go out there and hurt you. Sometimes, slip-ups arise.”
Sterling and Yan will co-headline this weekend’s UFC 273 event in Jacksonville, Florida, with the UFC undisputed 135-pound title on the line.