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UFC 267 co-main event preview as Petr Yan takes on Cory Sandhagen

26 October 2021 12:05:22 EST

The UFC is back in Abu Dhabi this weekend as the promotion returns to Fight Island for UFC 267.

Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan is back in the Octagon for the first time since his 4th round DQ for an illegal knee against Aljamain Sterling back at UFC 259 in March.

Yan seemed in control of the bout but when Sterling was down on the ground, ‘No Mercy’ unleashed a knee strike that sent his opponent to the canvas thus resulting in a deliberate foul and an end to the contest.

After Sterling was not given medical clearance to compete at UFC 267 for the bantamweight title rematch against Yan, an interim title fight was scheduled between the Russian and Cory Sandhagen.

Dan Hardy expects Sandhagen to cause Yan trouble when the pair meet in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“Cory Sandhagen likes to overwhelm his opponent and expose gaps in their guard. He likes to drift from the outside, switching his stance from southpaw to orthodox,” said Hardy.

“If he gets tangled up with Petr Yan, that’s where Petr Yan’s clinch work comes into play but Cory’s great in that range as well – he’s just more chaotic.”

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The Sandman is out to prove he’s the best bantamweight in the division after suffering defeat last time out to TJ Dillashaw meanwhile Petr Yan is out to prove he’s the UFC bantamweight champion and has claimed in the run up to this fight, ‘There is nothing interim about this belt.’

Hardy expects fireworks between the pair in the co-main event on Fight Island and has outlined each fighter’s key strengths.

“Petr Yan walks his opponent down and peppers them with power shots and exposes those weaknesses in their game when they start to feel pressured.

“Cory Sandhagen is about those opportunistic moments that he’s created with his fluid striking. When it hits the floor, he’s a whirlwind of armbars and triangles.

“It’s a really interesting fight for the interim title.”

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