5 Questions for Petr Yan

By: Elena Katretskaya
Oct 27, 2021

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There is very little time left before the fight between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen for the Ultimate Fighting Championship interim bantamweight championship. After the UFC decided to replace Aljamain Sterling with Cory Sandhagen, Yan made statements regarding the current champion after he withdrew from the fight on Oct. 30 in Abu Dhabi. Today we will speak with him on life and the exchanges he’s had with Sterling.

You post and talk a lot about your family. What basic life principles have shaped the way you live today?

The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. It is important to know what you want. The tasks you set in order to achieve the goals. And the people who surround you, this is also such a common energy. They think the same way as you do. My family is a great motivation and strength for me. I already have two sons, and I want to show by my personal example that everything is possible. My goal in work and in sports is to work hard and maintain my status. When you fight at the top, you need to match this level, constantly reinforce it with some actions and victories. With your family, you don't need to prove anything -- your family will always be with you, for better or for worse.

Would you like your sons to continue in your footsteps?

I won’t stop my sons in any way if they choose their own path. If I see that they are eager to do it, if they like it, then I need to try. But boys are obligated to play sports. This is a requirement that I will set for them. You need to exercise, take care of yourself, do not drink, do not smoke. This is important.

When did you realize that the talk with Sterling was turning into real insults?

Talk...I haven't had any boundaries crossed yet. There are some moral frameworks, principles by which you understand what you can talk about and what you can't talk about. What you can touch upon. What you cannot. Some values: Family, relatives...These are those moments. And that’s how it should be with everything. You need to know when to stop and this comes with experience. It happens that we make mistakes, and then we learn from our own mistakes. Growing up you become wiser.

How do you usually assess your opponents? What are your criteria?

Everything depends on the level of the fight in general. At first, you just look at your opponent. I didn't really understand my opponents before, no matter whom they gave me, I fought. It's always been that way. Now you look at your opponent more closely. You understand what he can do and what he cannot. What is his audience? How much media attention does he have? Because all of this affects your promotion, your recognition in sports and more. Now we are trying to analyze the opponent globally.

How do you feel about women’s MMA?

I am neutral to female MMA. It is, it was, and always will be. Valentina Shevchenko is a good fighter, we trained together several times in Thailand. She’s a very interesting, bright representative of mixed martial arts. She's definitely tougher than some of my sparring partners. She has such a ton of experience. Imagine, she won championships in muay Thai 10 or 15 times. She is very strong, fast, so I think she can compete with me. Advertisement
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