According to reports from Igor Lazonin from Tass Agency, Petr Yan’s entire corner has been denied a visa to enter the United States (as tweeted by Bruno Massami).
Per Lazonin, “visa request of all corners of Petr Yan was denied from US government.” The Russian fighter has a 3 year US visa and is allowed to enter the country for UFC 273. In light of the situation, Lazonin suggested the possibility of Khabib Nurmagomedov replacing Yan’s team to help his fellow countryman.
‘No Mercy’ is determined to settle the rivalry with Aljamain Sterling once and for all at UFC 273 on April 9 in Jacksonville, Florida. The interim champ will look to solidify his status as the bantamweight champion after their last bout resulted in a controversial win for ‘The Funk Master’ via disqualification.
Yan was cruising to a win against the champion at UFC 259 (up 29-28 on scorecards for two judges) when he ended up losing the fight by disqualification. In the fourth round, Yan landed an illegal knee to Sterling’s head when he was down which gave the latter the win.
Will Khabib step in to help corner Petr Yan?
Khabib Nurmagomedov stepping in to help corner Petr Yan is an interesting solution given his success as a coach since his retirement. Although Yan will be confident ahead of the bout, not having his cornermen for the unification bout is surely a blow for the interim titleholder.
Sterling hasn’t fought since their last bout as he underwent neck surgery after the win while Yan went on to claim the interim strap against Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267. He has only lost twice in a stellar record of 16-2, with his first loss avenged against Magomed Magomedov in 2017, a year after their first bout.
Entering the bout as the betting favorite, Russia’s first UFC 135 pound champion will look to avenge his second loss and unify the belts to reclaim his throne at bantamweight this April at UFC 273.