Former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan has addressed his latest defeat inside the Octagon for the first time.
This past weekend, Petr Yan took to the cage inside The Theater at Virgin Hotels in pursuit of a rebound result. His first outing of the year came after a disappointing 2022, which saw him go 0-2 courtesy of close losses to Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley.
But in the UFC Fight Night 221 main event, the Russian was unable to return to the winner’s circle, falling to a dominant five-round defeat at the hands of rising contender Merab Dvalishvili.
“The Machine” lived up this moniker across 25 minutes, accumulating a record rate of takedown attempts. And in spite of Yan’s credentialed striking, the Georgian also fared well on the feet, damaging the face of “No Mercy” enroute to a unanimous decision verdict.
On Monday, Petr Yan took to Instagram to address his third consecutive loss for the first time.
Petr Yan Looks To Provide Context Behind Latest Setback
While Yan’s losses to Sterling and O’Malley in 2022 were both close split decisions, with many believing the Russian was unfairly handed a defeat against the latter in Abu Dhabi last October, the result this past weekend marked a more decisive defeat.
But according to the former undisputed and interim titleholder, there’s context behind his underwhelming performance in Las Vegas.
In a recent social media post, Petr Yan implied that physical problems prevented him from entering the cage at 100 percent on March 11, noting that the issues left him unable to move effectively.
“On Saturday, 11.03.23, my fight took place, while in Russia it was 12.03, where I suffered defeat. It’s frustrating and painful to realize what happened, but there’s no going back,” Yan wrote. “Overall, I was satisfied with my preparation. There were a few factors that slowed me down – ones I thought I could handle. I flew back to the States, took a couple of days to recover from the flight, and started working out. I felt that I needed physical therapy.
“I trained daily for a week and believed everything would be fine. A week before the fight, I received a tough sparring session, which helped me breathe better, and I started to cut weight. I couldn’t even consider canceling the fight because I was already on the field! I knew I couldn’t move or hit, so I had to stay strong!” Yan continued. “I know I can and should do better!!! I need to reset and make some adjustments! 🙏🏻 The photo was taken during training at Tiger 7 days before leaving; that day, I thought I could bend and not crash into anything in the sky 😊 Thank you all for your attention and understanding 🙏🏻🤝 There will be more holidays.”
With the result, Petr Yan now finds himself a considerable distance away from title contention.
As well as O’Malley and Dvalishvili surpassing the Russian recent months owing to their respective victories over him, it stands to reason that the victor of the UFC San Antonio headliner between Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen next weekend will also be closer to a shot at the gold.
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