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Petr Yan says there’s ‘not much beef’ with Aljamain Sterling anymore, but still feels he won their rematch at UFC 273

Petr Yan on The MMA Hour

Petr Yan still thinks he should be the UFC bantamweight champion.

Earlier this year, Yan looked to reclaim the title he lost to Sterling when the two rematched at UFC 273; however he proved unable to do so, losing a split decision that saw Sterling take Yan’s back and control him for huge portions of the fight. In the immediate aftermath, Yan was convinced he deserved to get the nod over Sterling that night, and six months later, “No Mercy” hasn’t changed his mind on that front.

“I know my mistakes that I made in this fight. I don’t really look back, but I still don’t think that I lost this fight, but I know I made some mistakes in this fight,” Yan told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “If you look at the first fight, what happened in the first fight, and in the second fight he obviously performed better, but I made some mistakes and I still don’t believe that he should have won that fight.”

Yan isn’t the only one who believes he should have won, with UFC President Dana White saying he “thought the judges blew that one;” nevertheless, Yan is now officially 0-2 against Sterling, albeit with the first loss a deeply controversial disqualification. Now the two once again find themselves on the same fight card, as Yan faces Sean O’Malley in a featured bout at UFC 280, while Sterling defends his title against T.J. Dillashaw in the co-main event. Given their history, having both men compete on the same card is a potentially combustible situation, however, the two rivals already ran into each other ahead of the event, with nothing more eventful than a handshake and some pleasantries passing between them, and as Yan tells it, that’s because the animosity has died down some.

“I was just walking by and I saw them, it was his team, and I called him to say hi,” Yan explained. “When Aljo turned around he looked a little bit surprised. I talked to him a little bit and Merab was just standing there the whole time, not saying anything...

“There’s not much beef going on. It depends on the situation, depends on the mood.”

But the beef may have died down, that doesn’t mean their rivalry is dead. Yan has made it clear he hopes to earn another title shot with a win over O’Malley, be that against Sterling or Dillashaw, and the former champion takes some pleasure in fighting on the same night as Sterling, because he believes his bout is garnering more interest than the champions.

“I don’t really care about that,” Yan said when asked about sharing the card with Sterling. “Actually, it’s even better to be on the same card as him. I believe my fight with Sean is even bigger than the title fight. There’s more hype and more noise about our fight than about his fight.”

UFC 280 takes place Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

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