Cory Sandhagen is stepping up to take on Petr Yan for an interim title belt per UFC President Dana White.
Recently, bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling announced he will not be fighting at UFC 267 for unknown reasons. Sterling stated that he is not hurt, but fans are still wondering what the cause of the announcement may be. Fans will have to wait even longer to see him defend his title.
Sandhagen, fresh off a controversial split decision loss to TJ Dillashaw, will look to impose an interesting stylistic matchup for the 28 year old Yan. Cory possesses a diverse striking arsenal, showcased with his knockouts of Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar. He also has great takedown defense and this was on full display against Dillashaw where he stuffed 17/19 takedowns. Sandhagen also owns an unorthodox ground game. Sandhagen holds a 70″ reach compared to Yan’s 67″ reach, so look for Sandhagen to kick the legs often and fight from the outside.
Fans also asked for Dillashaw or Rob Font to be inserted into this fight. However, Dillashaw is still recovering from injuries and Font has just accepted a fight with Jose Aldo for Dec. 4.
Yan is one of the best all around fighters in mixed martial arts today and it will be intriguing to see how Sandhagen’s long stature will affect Yan’s performance. Look for Yan to engage in wrestling if things don’t go his way on the feet. He was a perfect 7/7 in takedown attempts against Sterling, who specializes in wrestling. He has impressive trip takedowns as well which might be a secret weapon of Yan’s in this upcoming bout.
This could potentially be the Fight of the Night. Both guys are at the top of the division for a reason and have the ability to put on a show for the fans in Abu Dhabi come Oct. 30.