Petr Yan Wants T.J. Dillashaw After Beating Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259

Petr Yan TJ Dillishaw And Cory Sandhagen With UFC Logo

  • Petr Yan wants T.J. Dillashaw after beating Aljamain Sterling.
  • Yan and Sterling face off at UFC 259 on Saturday night.
  • The champion is currently a slight -120 betting favorite against Sterling.

If Petr Yan had his way, he would rather fight T.J. Dillashaw next instead of Cory Sandhagen. Well, that is of course he beats Aljamain Sterling this weekend at UFC 259.

In a recent interview on Fanatics View, the UFC’s current bantamweight champion said that he prefers to fight Dillashaw over Sandhagen because it’s a bigger fight and Sandhagen lost to Sterling at UFC 250. Said Yan:

“If I win easy over Sterling, next fight has to be very big. Sandhagen, he lost to Sterling. I think maybe Dillashaw,” said the Bantamweight champ. “T.J. Dillashaw is back after doping tests and I want to fight him.”

Yan’s statement would surely not go well Sandhagen who recently told reporters that he would be disappointed if the UFC would give the next title shot to Dillashaw. Sandhagen has even proposed to fight Dillashaw for the right to fight for the title next but the former champion is firm on his intention to fight for the belt in his first fight back from suspension.

Of course, Yan, Sandhagen, and Dillashaw are looking too far ahead. That’s because Yan still has to take care of business on Saturday night and it won’t be a walk in the park for the champion.

Sterling On a Tear

Sterling is the UFC’s number 1 ranked bantamweight contender and the 31-year old from Uniondale, New York is on a tear right now. While Yan holds the current longest winning streak in the bantamweight division at six wins, Sterling is right behind him with five consecutive Octagon victories.

Master Funk also ranks fourth in the history of the UFC’s bantamweight division with 10 wins. His four submissions is also third most in the weight class. A former Cage Fury Fighting Championship bantamweight champion, Sterling has a record of 19-3 with two knockouts and eight wins via submission.

Sterling is currently a slight betting underdog against Yan at -110 at Bovada as of March 2nd with the champion coming back at -120 at the same sportsbook . But given Sterling’s resume and the fact that this is Yan’s first title defense, this is certainly a fight that could go either way and the best UFC betting sites agree.

Dillashaw or Title Shot

Cory Sandhagen has certainly earned his claim for a title shot. The Sandman has won two in a row since losing to Sterling at UFC250. Sandhagen knocked out Marlon Moraes in October 2020 and he followed that up with a first round stoppage win over Frankie Edgar last month. The 28-year old from Aurora Colorado has a record of 14-2 with six knockouts and three wins via submission and is 7-1 inside the UFC Octagon. Had he beaten Sterling, it would have been probably him challenging Yan on Saturday.

But if Sandhagen doesn’t get a title shot, he has publicly stated that he is willing to face Dillashaw for the right to fight for the belt next. However, it appears that Dillashaw doesn’t want a piece of Sandhagen, at least for now. The former champion is focused on getting his old bet back and he wants to fight for the title right away.

Dillashaw does have a point because he never lost the title in a fight. But then while he was away, Sandhagen emerged as one of the top bantamweights and certainly has the right to face the UFC 259 winner in the next bantamweight championship bout. What the UFC does to the bantamweight division after UFC 259 remains to be seen. For now, Yan must focus on the task at hand as Sterling can’t be taken lightly.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.