Petr Yan had to fight hard for the full five rounds to best Cory Sandhagen in a highly competitive striking battle today at UFC 267 to win the interim bantamweight belt.
Both fighters circle each other while throwing feints. Leg kick for Sandhagen. One lands for Yan too. Calf kick from Sandhagen.
Inside leg kick for Yan. Another kick from Yan as Sandhagen was looking for a punch. A couple of low kicks in quick succession from Sandhagen.
Jab from Yan. Punch and a low kick from Sandhagen. Oblique kick from Yan. Grazing punch over the top from Yan.
Inside thigh kick from Yan. Body kick for Yan. Nice rip to the body from Sandhagen. left hand from Yan behind the jab.
Chopping leg kick from Sandhagen. Inside leg kick from Yan. left hook for Sandhagen. Sandhagen in on a takedown attempt in the center of the Octagon and he walks Yan over to the cage.
Yan breaks free. High guard from him as Sandhagen works a few punches, then Yan fires back.
left hand from Yan and a kick from Sandhagen in response. Another chopping leg kick for Sandhagen. Sandhagen presses forward landing punches.
Hard inside leg kick from Yan. Yan misses a punch and Sandhagen tries to swarm him with punches of his own. Leg kick for him too.
Stepping right hand from Sandhagen and then that leads into a nice combo and knee strike upstairs to finish.
Jab from Sandhagen and then moves away. He lands it again as he stays on the outside. Kicks from Yan. Sandhagen gets through with a hard punch and Yan tries to get that back, but that’s easier said than done.
Yan with a body kick. Punches upstairs from Sandhagen. Heavy leg kick from Yan towards the end of the round that got Sandhagen’s attention.
leg kick from Sandhagen. Body kick from Yan. Calf kick from Yan. Glancing right hook for Sandhagen. Now a leg kick from him.
Body kick for Yan and misses with follow-up punches. Sandhagen with a punch. Jabs for him and then feels out with the left hand.
Heavy body kick from Yan and Sandhagen returns fire. Sandhagen with a body punch and one upstairs. Now a right hand from him. Both investing in the body work.
Yan with a body kick that’s almost caught and Sandhagen lands a punch. left hand lands clean from Yan. Snapping left hand from Yan.
Jab for Sandhagen. Inside leg kick from him. Constant stance switching from Sandhagen. Jabs from him. Long left hook from Yan. left hook for Sandhagen.
Sandhagen presses forward and lands a few solid punches. Now one to the body and Yan blasts him upstairs with a punch in response.
Uppercut from Sandhagen. Yan comes up just short and Sandhagen lands a jab again. Body kick for Yan. Leg kicks from Sandhagen.
Sandhagen tries for a takedown in the center of the Octagon and Yan sprawls on top. They get back up. Sandhagen threatens with a jumping knee, but it doesn’t get through.
Yan pressing forward. Jab from Sandhagen. left hand over the top from Yan. Left hand for Yan as Sandhagen lands a low kick.
left hand for Sandhagen. Now a kick. Yan with a leg kick of his own. Punch from Sandhagen seems to knock Yan off-balance for a moment.
Spinning back kick to the body lands clean for Yan. Light punches from Sandhagen. overhand left from Yan. Jab for Sandhagen.
Inside leg kick from Sandhagen. Powerful body punch from Yan. Jabs from Sandhagen. Right hand for him and a low leg kick.
Good uppercut for Yan. Sandhagen firing off punches now. Left hand from Yan and another hook soon after.
Yan pushing forward relentlessly. Sandhagen feels out with the jab. Reaching right hook from Yan just grazing the target.
Hard body kick from Yan and thhen throws heavy leather upstairs. Yan stepping up the intensity with his punches and Sandhagen does so too. however Yan then lands a spinning backfist to the jaw and Sandhagen staggers back and falls to the mat.
Big moment for Yan, but Sandhagen seems to be surviving as ground and pound arrives. Sandhagen trying to work back up and potentially threaten with a submission. Nothing doing there, but Sandhagen does get back up.
Yan marching forward throwing more heavy shots, but nothing lands cleanly before the end of the round.
Punch gets through for Ya. Jab for Sandhagen. Jumping knee from him but it misses. Body punch for Sandhagen. Now jabs from Sandhagen.
Low kick for Sandhagen. Jab lands again. Powerful left hand from Yan snaps his opponent’s head back. Body punch from Sandhagen and two hard counter punches come in response from Yan.
Jabs for Sandhagen and punches in response from Yan followed by a body kick. Hard one-two for Yan. Right hand from Sandhagen.
Sandhagen drives in hard for a takedown and continues to press forward with it and lands it. Yan threatens with leg lock and that brings the fight back to the feet.
Sandhagen in on another takedown attempt, but nothing doing this time. Yan drives forward and lands a big overhand left.
Thunderous body punches from Yan now. A left hand lands. Heavy three-piece combo from Yan. Yan threatens with an upward elbow, but then Sandhagen connects with some nice punches in retaliation.
Hard blow again from Yan and Sandhagen tries for another takedown that’s stuffed by Yan, who sprawls on him. Yan back upright and looking for strikes immediately.
Head kick attempt from Yan just misses. left hand for Yan behind a jab. High level stuff going on here and Yan’s starting to really take charge as we head to the final round.
Sandhagen pumps out the jab to start while utilizing lots of movement. Glancing left hand from Yan. Inside leg kick for Sandhagen. Now a light body punch for him.
Jumping knee to the body from Sandhagen. Body kick from Yan. Leg kick for Sandhagen. Hard jab from Yan and just misses with the straight behind it.
Constant movement from Sandhagen. Yan’s punches just miss the mark. Yan in on a takedown attempt and Sandhagen defends well.
Head kick lands for Yan, but Sandhagen shakes it off. Punch for Yan and then Sandhagen lands a two-piece counter.
Jab for Sandhagen. Jab and then a hard left hand from Yan. Light punches to the guard from Sandhagen. Two jabs down the pipe. Body punch from Sandhagen.
Glancing right hand from Yan. Sandhagen staying busy without landing with much power. Yan swings for the fences and misses.
Jumping knee from Sandhagen upstairs. Power punch followed by a spinning head kick from Yan with great power, but it’s blocked and then Sandhagen responds with a flying knee attempt to end an entertaining five round battle.
This looked like a great match-up on paper and it lived up to that. Sandhagen looked sharp early, but while he kept the fight competitive throughout, as the rounds wore on it was Yan who was starting to land with more authority, while constantly pushing the pace and that leads to a unanimous decision victory (49-46 x3) and the interim bantamweight title.