Petr Yan will put his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight title on the line for the first time this weekend (Sat., March 6, 2021) at UFC 259 in Las Vegas, Nevada, against Aljamain Sterling. Yan won the title at UFC 251 with a violent technical knockout win over Jose Aldo in July 2020.
Undefeated inside the Octagon (7-0), Yan isn’t underestimating “Funkmaster” ahead of their 135-pound title fight; however, he already knows who he wants to face next should he come out on top. During a recent interview on Fanatics View, “No Mercy” revealed his desired opponent, which will undoubtedly leave one top contender very upset.
“If I win easy over Sterling, next fight has to be very big. Sandhagen, he lost to Sterling. I think maybe Dillashaw,” the Bantamweight champ said. “T.J. Dillashaw is back after doping tests and I want to fight him.”
Of course, Sandhagen has more than earned his shot at vying for the division title after racking up a 7-1 record during his UFC run, which includes back-to-back knockout wins over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar (see it again here). “The Sandman” has also been very vocal about just how unhappy he will be if the promotion opted to give Dillashaw the next title fight after UFC 259.
Dillashaw recently completed his two-year suspension after failing a drug test for erythropoietin (EPO). And though he was forced to vacate the title, he never actually lost the belt that he won at UFC 217 by knocking out Cody Garbrandt (he knocked out “No Love” a second time at UFC 227 in his first and only title defense).
“Viper” has been very clear about his desire to fight for the strap coming straight out of his suspension, but UFC matchmakers and Dana White have yet to give any indication on what they plan on doing post-UFC 259.
You know the players, so I leave it to you: Who should get the next title shot at 135 pounds once the dust settles this weekend in “Sin City?”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 259 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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