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Midnight Mania! Petr Yan enters UFC 273 healthy and without injury for the first time

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Illegal knee controversy aside, Petr Yan’s spent nearly four years now looking very much like the best fighter alive. The Russian striker is offensively volatile from both stances, defensively very sound, and he has a surprisingly deep understanding of the wrestling game for a man known for his kickboxing. By and large, Yan has proven himself a class above his fellow Bantamweights, an impressive accomplishment given just how talented 135-pounders tend to be.

Perhaps making his accomplishments more impressive are the injuries and difficulties Yan’s dealt with outside of the cage. Per his manager Danny Rubenstein, UFC 273 will be the first time Yan makes the walk into the Octagon without some kind of lingering issue.

“He’s great – I’ve honestly never seen him look better,” Rubenstein said (via MMAJunkie). “I’ve had a lot of conversations with a lot of people around him, outside of him – everybody is very impressed by what he’s been doing and especially this camp and how he’s looked this camp.

“His weight is good. (He has) no injuries, which is pretty much a first for him. Every other fight, he’s had some kind of injury. The Jimmie Rivera fight, he was in the hospital the week before the fight. So everything has always been, with Petr, very difficult getting to the fight. He’s always made it there and always performed very well. But the fact that he’s healthy now and no injuries, I think it’s going to be a good week for him.”

Of course, Yan isn’t the only fighter to deal with injuries. Sterling himself underwent neck surgery last year, and his recovery has delayed their rematch for some time. If a healthier spine helps Sterling perform more effectively on Saturday night, we could be looking at a match up between two especially fresh champions at their best.

LIVE! Watch UFC 274 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE DIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Phoenix, Ariz., on Sat., May 7, 2022, with a blockbuster championship doubleheader. Headlining the pay-per-view (PPV) event will be Lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira, seeking to defend his title against No. 1-ranked contender, Justin Gaethje. In UFC 274’s co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, looks to avenge her loss against No. 2-seeded, Carla Esparza. And top-ranked Lightweight contenders collide when Michael Chandler (No. 5) locks horns with Tony Ferguson (No. 7) in a fan-friendly 155-pound clash for the ages.

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