Yan On Cruz Title Shot: ‘There Are More Active And Deserving Fighters’
You can add Petr Yan to the list of people who are puzzled by the situation regarding the UFC’s bantamweight divison.
The 27-year-old is 6-0 in the UFC and ranked third in the bantamweight divison. Considered one of the true contenders, Yan (14-1) talked to MMA Fighting about the UFC Bantamweight Title situation. Specifically, he is talking about Dominick Cruz getting a title opportunity against Henry Cejudo after Jose Aldo was replaced.
“To be honest, moments like this in UFC kind of upset me,” Yan stated. “He didn’t fight for three years and now he’s getting a title shot? It kind of upsets me and it’s a big hit for UFC reputation, in my opinion.”
Yan fought three times in 2019, beating John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera and Urijah Faber. The last one was via KO in December. He is set to face Marlon Moraes at UFC Kazakhstan in June. With Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen, those four are considered the ultimate contenders. Instead, the UFC is giving Cejudo what he wants with his list of non-active fighters.
Cruz hasn’t fought since 2016 and is coming off of a loss while Aldo just came into the bantamweight division and lost to Moraes via split decision. Aldo is also 2-4 in his last six. Yan is on the side of Cody Garbrandt, who doesn’t understand how these opportunities happen.
“I think there are more active and deserving fighters that could fight for the belt and I don’t understand why they’d give it to a guy that’s been so inactive for so long,” Yan went on to say.
The UFC is set to return on May 9 from an undisclosed location. If Cejudo can beat Cruz, he has other fights in mind. Yan is hoping the UFC can see what he see’s when it comes to these matchups.
“I can’t say I lost respect for [Cejudo],” Yan said. “I know that he’s playing his game, he’s doing his part, but it’s weird that the UFC also agrees with him – that’s kind of weird.”