Following an emphatic win over Urijah Faber at UFC 245, surging Russian Petr Yan wasted no time in planting seeds for his next bout, but despite an intense staredown with former champion Cody Garbrandt backstage, “No Mercy” has no interest in the man he playfully refers to as “No Chin”.
Yan’s stock was sent soaring on the back of his head kick knockout of Faber, which increased his streak to six straight wins under the UFC banner.
“I don’t like to force the finish, but I also don’t like to leave it in the hands of the judges,” Yan told MMA Fighting via a translator. “We all know I fought in his home territory, so I did not want to leave any questions. I’m very glad that I got the stoppage.”
“I wasn’t surprised with anything [Faber did],” he added. “They can say whatever they want, but the first round was completely under my control. I wasn’t forcing the action, I just needed to feel him out, his reactions, his power. I was pressuring him, I saw all of his shots and I made him miss most of them. After that I started working in the second round. And you saw what happened after.”
Even though the victory has likely made the bantamweight a bigger household name internationally than any of his previous wins, Yan doesn’t consider collecting Faber’s scalp to be the biggest win of his career.
“I don’t consider it the biggest win in my career, every fight is very important for me in its own way. This fight matters because it increased my popularity and brought me one step closer to the title. I think it was excellent fight and experience, now onto the next one.”
Yan detailed his backstage face off with Garbrandt where it appeared as though the former champion declared interest in facing the Russian following his next outing against Raphael Assuncao.
He got the impression that Garbrandt had no intention of backing up his words and described the Team Alpha Male fighter as being “like a puppy.” He also revealed that the incident stemmed from a comment Garbrandt made about him on UFC president Dana White’s Instagram page.
“Nothing really happened,” he said of the backstage incident.
“Cody wrote, ‘Get this MFer,’ on Dana White’s Instagram page, I jokingly replied, ‘You are next, No Chin,’ and he tried to act tough and crossed the line by commenting that he will see me tomorrow and smack me like a little ho. You all saw what happened when he saw me face to face: he was hiding his hands behind his back, acting all emotional and didn’t back up his words proving that he is all talk. He is a puppy - he barks, but doesn’t bite.”
Yan highlighted how unimpressed he is with Garbrandt’s ability to take a punch and is adamant that he is no interest in the fight at the moment as he feels he is ready to fight for the title against champion Henry Cejudo.
“Maybe he has speed and power, but he can’t take a punch,” Yan said.
“It would just be a matter of time before I can catch him and after that you will see another fall of the man with no chin. Now I understand that he talks big just to stay relevant. He is trying to attach his name to mine because I just won the fight and I’m on the rise. He needs to win a fight first before calling me out.”
“To be honest, at this stage of my career, I’m not interested in this fight at all,” Yan added. “I believe I deserve to fight for the title and will talk to UFC about that first. After that we can plan and see what fights will make sense. In the future it’s still possible, I would love to show you Russian boxing style.”
This week, Eurobash looked forward to a big year in 2020 for European MMA and Petr Yan.