Could ONE Championship be a good fit for Petr Yan?

Petr Yan could be making a jump to ONE Championship. [Photos Anatoly Malykhin Instagram, Petr Yan Instagram]
Petr Yan could be making a jump to ONE Championship. [Photos Anatoly Malykhin Instagram, Petr Yan Instagram]

While Daniel Cormier didn’t specifically say it, a recent statement he made has led many to believe that Petr Yan is on his way to a new promotion. It appears that most think the Russian star would be a good fit for ONE Championship.

Yan, a former UFC bantamweight champion, expressed immense disappointment following his controversial split decision loss to Sean O’Malley at UFC 280 this past weekend. This led to Cormier positing that the Russian star could be looking to make some career changes soon.

Cormier said during an episode of ESPN MMA's DC & RC show:

“I’m hearing word that this guy may want to look at something different down the line in terms of his career because he just feels like maybe the organization doesn’t have his back. It’s crazy.”

While there could be some truth to Cormier's statements, there’s also one lingering question: would Petr Yan fit in with ONE Championship’s culture?

There’s no doubt that Yan is one of the most exciting bantamweights on the planet. His marauding style would suit perfectly well with ONE Championship’s roster of bantamweight killers. Yan is 16-4 in his career, with seven of his wins coming by way of knockout.

The recent match between Fabricio Andrade and John Lineker for the vacant ONE bantamweight world title at ONE on Prime Video 3 is a prime example of how electrifying the division is. Though it ended in an unfortunate no contest, Andrade vs. Lineker was a firestorm of the most hellacious strikes that the sport has seen in recent memory.

Yan’s addition to ONE Championship’s stacked bantamweight division won’t necessarily inject new life into the weight class, but his inclusion will certainly cause a major shakeup. The 29-year-old may not enter the world title picture immediately, but what he’ll arrive into is a lion’s pit of a top five.

Andrade and Lineker occupy the top two spots, while Brazilian legend and former world champion Bibiano Fernandes is the No.3-ranked contender. South Korean knockout artist Kwon Won Il sits in the No.4 spot, while Filipino brawler Stephen Loman rounds out the top five.

Catch Daniel Cormier's comments in the below:


Petr Yan has second-hand experience with ONE Championship

Although Petr Yan isn’t signed with ONE Championship, he has a bit of a history with the promotion through its top fighters.

Yan often trains at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. It’s in that gym that he regularly works out with Andrade and ONE interim heavyweight world champion Anatoly Malykhin, as well as former middleweight world champion Vitaly Bigdash, top lightweight Timofey Nastyukhin, and women’s striking icon Anissa Meksen.

Malykhin and Yan, in fact, are two of the closest friends in the sport. It’s possible the heavyweight superstar talks about ONE Championship with the Russian bantamweight.

If there’s one person who could lure Yan into signing with ONE Championship, then it has to be Malykhin. ‘Sladkiy’ holds a commanding presence at Tiger Muay Thai and it would be no surprise if Petr Yan converses with him about his career.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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