Petr Yan has officially hit a rough patch after his most recent appearance at UFC Las Vegas.
Once a seemingly unstoppable force with one loss upon arrival in the UFC, Yan, 30, now finds himself desperate for the taste of victory. This past weekend’s event headliner saw “No Mercy” look to snap a two-fight skid against the best friend of his old rival Aljamain Sterling, Merab Dvalishvili. Unfortunately for Yan, he was on the receiving end of vintage “Machine” trouncing as the Georgian wrestling sensation earned 50-45 scorecards across the board, picking up a unanimous decision and ninth straight victory.
Coming up short via split decision in his unification title rematch with Sterling in April of last year, Yan initially planned to rebound against rising star Sean O’Malley the following October. The pair of excellent strikers put on a Fight of the Night worthy show, earning an additional $50,000 a piece, but in the end, it was O’Malley who handed Yan yet another split-decision loss. After seeing this most recent defeat of Yan’s, “Sugar” feels somewhat to blame for the Russian’s continued descent.
“I genuinely in my heart felt bad for Petr,” O’Malley said on the TimboSugarShow. “After, I’m like, ‘Goddamn it.’ You go from just the scariest — Dustin Poirier saying you’re the best boxer, you’re on the pound-for-pound list, you’re the baddest dude in the division, people are terrified of you ... Then you f****** illegally knee ‘Aljo.’ Then you lose a close fight to ‘Aljo.’ Then you get beat by me.
“I felt like he looked a little different in there, but it also might be that’s how good Merab is. Merab might have just made him look like that. I just saw it and I’m like, damn, I took a little something from Petr, I feel like.”
O’Malley’s win over Yan solidified him as the No. 1-ranked contender in the promotion’s official rankings until Dvalishvili’s win, bumping him to No. 2. Since then, the rainbow-haired knockout artist claims that UFC President Dana White has informed him that he’ll be next for the winner of Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo, who face off at UFC 288 on May 6.
Regardless of the trending direction of Yan’s career, O’Malley still has plenty of respect for his toughest challenge to date.
“I feel like maybe he just, I don’t know. [49 takedown attempts from Dvalishvili], it’s insane,” O’Malley said. “[Yan’s defense], also insane. I think he was so — I’m gonna say embarrassed that he lost to me, which he shouldn’t be. I’m f****** pretty skilled, but you don’t want to lose to me. I got f****** pink hair, I’m cute, you know ...
“He was so embarrassed that he lost to me that he wanted that [win] back so bad and the division’s booked. Rob [Font], Adrian [Yanez], like the whole division is booked out. Merab was the only one. That just shows you how f****** gangster Petr is. He didn’t care, he said, ‘I want Merab. I have to get this win back. I can’t be coming off a loss to ‘Sugar Sean.’’”
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The MMA Hour.
UFC 286 Embedded 1.
Edwards vs. Usman 3 preview.
10 Things Edwards Can’t Live Without
Gaethje’s Road to London.
Prelude to UFC 286.
CCC and Chael break down Usman vs. Edward 3.
On To the Next One. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck and Alex K. Lee share their matches to make after UFC Las Vegas.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Lightweight kings @MAKHACHEVMMA @Usmannmgdv pic.twitter.com/njVuwkjpqn— Rizvan Magomedov (@Rizvan_RM) March 13, 2023
Amazing cold water! *takes toenail off* pic.twitter.com/nYo3SM6h3a— DUNKLE (@HookerStinky) March 13, 2023
UFC 286 Edwards VS Usman Unprofessional Breakdown is up now. pic.twitter.com/U6M2vZafXU— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) March 13, 2023
@GamebredFighter is certainly proud of this flying knee and super necessary final shots @combateglobal pic.twitter.com/y1fBY3BHtx— Red Corner MMA (@RedCorner_MMA) March 13, 2023
Justin Gaethje Jr.
This girl got moves— Red Corner MMA (@RedCorner_MMA) March 13, 2023
Name this kick? pic.twitter.com/aWYPGTvqP6
Can you guess all five?
The 5 most teased weight class changes in MMA. pic.twitter.com/YdDPCq9AXD— MMA On Point (@OnPointMMA) March 13, 2023
Big congratulations to @BensonHenderson on his retirement! It was an honor to share the cage w you, you’re all class! Enjoy your retirement brother.— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) March 13, 2023
Japanese fighters in @KillCliff_FC— 佐藤天 Takashi Sato (@satotenten) March 14, 2023
日本人選手がKILLCLIFF FCに4人も！素晴らし！！ pic.twitter.com/jn5iGhXelo
Don’t tell me you made money betting on my fight if you aren’t goin to send me beer money— Fremd (@joshfremd) March 13, 2023
公開練習に名前が出てしまった。— 杉山しずかshizukasugiyama/しぃやん総合格闘家 (@Cisyumm) March 14, 2023
Fight to make?
Marcin Tybura responds to Tommy Aspinall (h/t @guicruzzz) pic.twitter.com/rPW5mBCUhl— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 14, 2023
"UFC 285: Jones vs Gane Is Officially The All-Time Highest Performing Event In UFC Social Media History"https://t.co/SZs4oOEtUg pic.twitter.com/fi3EJPacyf— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) March 14, 2023
Violence from Korea’s GOAT.
Wild in the west.
Nate Landwehr (16-4) vs. Austin Lingo (9-1); UFC San Antonio, March 25
Aaron Pico (10-4) vs. Otto Rodrigues (13-1); Bellator 295, April 22
Kai Kara-France (24-10, 1 NC) vs. Amir Albazi (16-1); UFC Fight Night, June 3
Bantamweight has gotten so weird since Cody Garbrandt beat Dominick Cruz (which makes me even more sad). Realistically, you could do O’Malley vs. Dvalishvili on the same night as Sterling vs. Cejudo and I don’t think there’d be anything wrong with that.
Thanks for reading!
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