UFC 267: Blachowicz vs. Teixeira took place Oct. 30 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan (16-2) and Cory Sandhagen (14-4) collided with an interim title on the line. The fight aired live on ESPN+.
Catch more video highlights below.
No Mercy in the official division! @PetrYanUFC is the new interim UFC bantamweight champ!— UFC (@ufc) October 30, 2021
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For more on Yan vs. Sandhagen, check out the live blog by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Round 1: Sandhagen comes out switching stances immediately while Yan is in orthodox to start. Yan is on the front step early and Sandhagen looking for low leg kicks to start. Both men trying to find their range but Sandhagen is filling the space with volume as he searches for it.
Sandhagen hand fighting a lot early too. Grabbing and parrying. Smothering the lead from Yan. Yan keeping it simple early. Sandhagen lands a good hook to the body and he’s out-pacing Yan to start.
Yan starting to chop on leg kicks and Sandhagen changes levels for a double-leg! That was different. He doesn’t get the takedown but he does back Yan up to the fence. They separate and at space Yan is now throwing a lot of kicks ot the body. Sandhagen responds with leg kicks and more boxing. Yan with a good counter right hook but Sandhagen has started very strongly, really pressing the action. Yan’s high guard is allowing Sandhagen to land combos but Sandhagen is showing some redness on his body form the kicks of Yan. Can he keep this up for 25 minutes?
Another takedown attempt from Sandhagen, this one a single leg but Yan lands a big elbow on the break. And a big leg kick. And a counter left. Yan finding his range now. Sandhagen goes for a jumping knee that Yan blocks and the round ends. What action that was.
MMA Fighting score the round 10-9 Sandhagen.
Round 2: Yan started to settle in at the end of the first. We’ll see if he can build on that to start the second. For Sandhagen, it was a great round but the question is can he keep that level of volume up, because we know Yan only gets stronger.
Kicks from both men early in the round and we’re seeing both men attack all levels of their opponents. This is tremendous MMA. Sandhagen still leading the dance but Yan is starting to really target the body. That’s going to pay dividends. Another body kick from Yan. Sandhagen pumping the jab and then hooks to the body. That’s a strategy Sandhagen has been using a lot.
Yan steps in with a hook that gets Sandhagen’s attention. And the leg work from Yan is starting to show results. Redness all over Sandhagen now and Yan is starting to take the initiative. Sandhagen still switching stances a ton but Yan now has reads for both sides.
Sandhagen charging in with combos now and Yan starting to angle out and find counters. Spinning back fist from Yan misses but the follow up left hand connects. Yan is throwing a lot of heat on his hooks now though. And Sandhagen shoots in again but Yan sprawls that easily.
Another jump knee from Sandhagen lands on the guard of Yan. Both men showing some very solid defense but both men with even better offense. This is MMA at the highest level.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Yan, 19-19 overall.
Round 3: Once Yan got his reads, his defense really was something to watch. Sandhagen couldn’t land anything clean on him and he was setting up beautiful counters. Adjustments needed from Sandhagen.
Sandhagen lands a big counter left to start the round off a leg kick from Yan. Spinning back kcik from Yan lands and Sandhagen is back to high volume. A lot of feints from Sandhagen now too.
Sandhagen with high volume but not landing much anymore, meanwhile Yan has receded a bit as well. Sandhagen moving off a lot and Yan can’t quite find the mark. Yan lands a good combo and then Sandhagen returns fire. Sandhagen fires back heavily whenever Yan lands.
Yan entirely on the front foot now but Sandhagen is really moving and tough to track down. He’s not countering effectively though so Yan can just keep marching. Spinning back fist from Yan into a right hook that drops Sandhagen! Yan now on top and trying to rain down shots but Sandhagen appears to have his head clear.
Sandhagen scrambles and Yan trying to take the back. Sandhagen almost reverses but Yan stays with him and gets in a few shots from the top before Sandhagen can finally stand again, just before the round ends.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Yan, 29-28 Yan overall.
Round 4: This is just classic Petr Yan. Sandhagen came out on fire and Yan just slowly overtook him. That spinning backfight into hook combo really hurt Sandhagen for a moment and totally shifted momentum.
Yan in pursuit to start the fourth and he’s feeling confident. Letting the hands go early. Sanghagen again tries a jump knee but whiffs. Sandhagen now hacvng trouble keeping Yan off him because Sandhagen’s counters don’t have enough heat coming back. Yan just walking through the return fire to land his offense.
Sandhagen is doing an excellent work with angles, to be fair, but his offense has really leveled off. No power on anything and Yan is snapping his head back. Sandhagen’s face is starting to show the damage and he’s getting back up to the fence consistently.
Sandhagen shoots a double-leg and gets it! Yan scrambles, Sandhagen goes for a leg, Yan escapes and back to the feet but Sandhagen goes for another takedown. Yan defends and now they are back to the boxing. Good exchange though.
Yan cracks Sandhagen is a combo and Sandhagen showing signs of wilting. He ate a clean combo and took a deep breath. Yan just relentless on him. Sandhagen trying to jab and move but Yan has no fear whatsoever and it’s allowing him to land big shots.
Sandhagen seems to recognize this and lands a big elbow on Yan but Yan just cracks him back with a big right hand that sends Sandhagen reeling back. Shot from Sandhagen that Yan stuffs but they are clinch fighting and Yan pops him with a hook on the break. More combos from Yan. This man does not tire.
MMA Fighting score the round 10-9 Yan, 39-37 Yan overall.
Round 5: Yan looking fresh as a daisy and credit to Sandhagen, he’s still looking fine despite the short-notice.
Yan in full flow though, bouncing and matching to start the fifth. Not a ton of offense from either early though. Sandhagen really keeping a distance fight now and Yan trying to corner him. Jump knee from Sandhagen fails again. Hasn’t hit one.
Two minutes in and not much has happened because Sandhagen is on his bike constantly. Yan can’t land anything this way but he does shoot a takedown. Sandhagen stuffs it though and now he’s popping the light jab again. Sandhagen may be winning this round but it’s not impressive. Head kick lands from Yan! Sandhagen eats it fine but wow that looked like it landed clean.
This is an anticlimactic round though. Yan sort of coasting and Sandhagen point-fighting, to be generous. with a minute left, Yan trying to put s stamp on it but Sandhagen is nowhere to be hit. Honestly, this round is kind of lame but Sandhagen has done enough to outscore Yan. Wheel kick from Yan lands with seconds left but that won’t be enough to take the round. He should get the title though.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sandhagen, 48-47 Yan overall.
Petrr Yan defeats Cory Sandhagen by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) to claim the UFC interim bantamweight championship.