Petr Yan Declares Himself No. 1 Bantamweight Contender After Sterling Surgery

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Petr Yan believes he is the number one contender at bantamweight following Aljamain Sterling’s surgery.

Sterling took to Instagram yesterday to announce he underwent wrist surgery, and he had to withdraw from his rumored fight against Frankie Edgar at UFC 244. He also will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, but the surgery should allow him to fight in New York after the NYSAC wouldn’t clear him.

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For the last 2 years, I’ve been dealing with a Scapholunate ligament tear in my wrist. Depending how bad you let the injury get can weaken/affect your grip strength, reduces the weight you can lift, the pressure you can put on it, and over time gets extremely painful to do daily activities, like washing my back and my ass! ???????? – I kept pushing through the injurys’ limits and telling the doctors that I would be fine with not getting surgery. ????????‍♀️ Recently I was offered a HUGE fight, so I was going to push the limits again, despite having less strength than my left hand (I’m right-handed) to fight the legend, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar, at @thegarden!! – Unfortunately, the NYSAC wouldn’t approve me in time to fight at home for Nov. 2nd. Although the wrist pain got significantly worse from fighting Pedro Munhoz, I was really disappointed, but recognized that maybe this was Gods plan for me. I’ve been searching for clarity or a sign…maybe this was it… Either way, I was ready to risk it all again for a dream come true fight against a legend in my hometown!! I risked it before, right? So why not do it again, as my homecoming to FINALLY fight at home?! – That was my mindset and sometimes us fighters are our worst enemies. Us fighters NEVER fight at 100% anyway, which is why we are, who we are that live this life and do crazy shit that we do! All for a moment of glory, that could last a LIFETIME! ???? Thank you to @seanshelby @danawhite and everyone on the @UFC medical team for taking care of me. And my manager, Lloyd, and girlfriend @rebeccacruise for coming and being here for me ???????? • #FunkStillGotNext! #RoadToRecovery #Surgery #Scapholunate #Ligament #UFC #ESPN #DrHotchkiss #NYC #HSS #LookAtTheFlickOfThatWrist #MSG #TheWeeklyScraps

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With Sterling sidelined, it obviously shakes up the bantamweight division. Now, according to surging contender Petr Yan, he believes that he is the top contender and the next viable option for the title shot.

“Speedy recovery to @funkmasterMMAbut with him being out there’s no question who is #1 contender in the division now! If you don’t agree I’m the next in line you can fight me on UFC 245″

Yan is coming off of a decision win over Jimmie Rivera at UFC 238. It was considered his coming out party of sorts as he entered the top-five of the rankings. The Russian is 13-1 as a pro and 5-0 in the UFC. His other wins inside the Octagon have come over John Dodson, Douglas Silva de Andrade, Jin Soo Son, and Teurto Ishihara.

However, with champion Henry Cejudo out and expected to defend the flyweight title next, Yan’s next fight may not be a title fight. It could very well be an interim title, or perhaps a fight with a legend like Urijah Faber or Frankie Edgar. Regardless, the Russian believes he is the number one contender.

Who do you think is the number one contender at bantamweight?

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