Fresh off his stunning first-round stoppage of Teruto Ishihara in his promotional debut at UFC Singapore, former ACB champion Petr Yan already has his eyes on ranked opposition and a spot on the UFC’s first card in Russia.
It wasn’t only MMA fans and media that gushed over the Russian’s first Octagon outing. Even Yan himself couldn’t help but pat himself on the back for a job well done last weekend.
“It was very pleasant to win my UFC debut,” Yan told MMA Fighting, “but I just wanted to get back to my family as soon as possible to celebrate with them. I think my performance was excellent. Fight camp went well except some little problems, but overall I am pleased with my performance.”
Becoming the first man to stop Ishihara with strikes made less of an impact on the bantamweight prospect:
“To be honest I don’t care about that. It turned out as it turned out, I said before the fight that my striking kills are way more superior than his.”
Many believe that Yan could already challenge at the top of the UFC’s 135-pound bracket. It seems as though the Tiger Muay Thai proponent agrees as he hopes to face a ranked fighter for his sophomore outing to the Octagon.
“I’d prefer an opponent from the top 15, I don’t think there is any need to delay it. I’m ready to face top opposition, so everything depends on who the UFC want to put me against. If they offer me a ranked fighter I will gladly accept it and I’ll make sure it’s an exciting fight.”
While he knows he wants a counterpart with a number beside his name, Yan still isn’t compelled to call anyone out.
“I don’t care who I fight. Whoever the UFC matchmakers think can make exciting fight with me is okay for me,” Yan said. “I trust my management team, Sayat and Danny, to handle everything. They are professionals and know what’s best for my career.”
He also explained why he feels he should compete on UFC’s inaugural Russian card, citing the Sept. 15 date in Moscow as a “big event for out sport”.
“I really want to fight in Russia again. I fought in Moscow many times and I have a big fan base there. UFC in Russia is a big event for our sport in my country and I want to be a part of that historical event. It will mean a lot to be the part of the first UFC event in Russia.”
Despite calling for a ranked bantamweight for his next outing, he believes he’s a number a years away from competing for UFC gold.
“I can’t say right away how much time exactly I need to fight for the title. In two or three years I will probably be high enough in the rankings and will be in position to challenge for the title. How my career will develop is down to my manager’s work. And if we work together towards that goal, I think everything will be good and I will make it happen. I don’t doubt it.”