Israel Adesanya knew Petr Yan was special even before he became champion.
UFC 267 went down on Saturday and two champions were crowned, among them was Petr Yan who would be leaving Abu Dhabi with the interim bantamweight title. This is the second belt Yan has held in the UFC. He was the bantamweight champ before losing his title to Aljamain Sterling. Now Yan has a chance to win it back.
Yan showed on Saturday that he is a force to be reckoned with at 135 pounds. His relentless pressure and sticking skills were on display as he took down Cory Sandhagen. Another champ was watching and took to his YouTube page to express his admiration for Yan. That champ was Israel Adesanya.
“I used to watch Petr spar and used to be like, ‘Man, he’s merking everyone. He’s literally just f***ing everyone up.’ And I was like, ‘Man, who is this guy? I like his style.’ He was real playful and agile,” Adesanya said. “After sparring I asked him, ‘Yo, can we play?’ I just wanted to feel him. I just wanted to see what he’s about. I tell you, yeah, he was legit. I knew he was going to be a world champion from there.”
Adesanya was talking about the time these two trained together in Thailand, at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket. This story happened back in 2013-2014 according to Adesanya, before Yan won his first belt. Adesanya knows a thing or two about striking but he explains that Yan’s style had him impressed.
Now Yan will have the opportunity to unify this title. He was supposed to fight Sterling in a rematch at this UFC 267 event but Sterling was not cleared to fight following his neck surgery. That rematch will now have to be set up for next year most likely.
Were you equally impressed by Petr Yan’s performance at UFC 267?
Continue Reading Israel Adesanya Recalls Petr Yan ‘Merking Everyone’ In Training at MMA News.