Petr Yan was asked about his UFC 245 showdown with the resurgent bantamweight Urijah Faber during the event’s ongoing fight-week.
Faber may have captured the imagination of the fans upon TKO’ing the highly-touted Ricky Simon in his return to the sport earlier this year but for those in the know, the task he is expecting to overcome at UFC 245 could well prove a step too far.
Of course, anything can happen in the sport of mixed martial arts but as far as rising contenders are concerned, Yan could well be amongst the most impressive in the sport right now pound-for-pound.
Riding a five-fight win-streak inside the octagon that began with his promotional debut against Teruto Ishihara, Yan managed to solidify his claim to being a top-5 bantamweight with his most recent victory, a UFC 238 win over Jimmie Rivera.
With his name now firmly inserted into the bantamweight title-picture, one would have to assume that a win over Faber will be enough to make his claim to a shot at the strap undeniable.
Sure, Faber’s victory over Ricky Simon was an impressive return, but in the eyes of most, the win was one that was more a consequence of one well-timed shot than any massive technical leaps the Team Alpha Male founder has made during his time off.
Whether he will be able to prove the world wrong at the second time of asking is anyone’s guess.
In a recent interview with MMAFighting, Yan explained his thoughts on Faber as a competitor – giving respect to his opponent while also making it clear that he doesn’t see his accomplishments as legendary.
“I don’t think he’s a legend of the sport. Of course, he’s an old and experienced fighter but for me, the definition of [a] legend is something different.”
As for his take on the fight and how it will play out, Yan used his platform to take a fun dig at The California Kid – while promising both him and the world that he will be bringing his A-game once the cage doors close.
Speaking to RT Sport, the Russian gave credit where due to the Team Alpha Male legend’s toughness but seemed to have no doubts about his ability to get the job done emphatically.
“I know he’s a tough guy.
“He’s experienced but I know I’m better than him, I’m a better fighter than him, I’m younger and I’m ready to show an exciting performance. I know it’s going to be tough to knock him out because Faber’s got two chins but I think I’m gonna do it.”
Watch Petr Yan’s full interview below: