Petr Yan is back in training ahead of his fight with Sean O’Malley at UFC 280. The former bantamweight champion has landed in Phuket where he will be doing a fight camp at Tiger Muay Thai.
The bout is set for Abu Dhabi on October 22nd giving Yan around two months to prepare. He has decided to stick to a tried and trusted method by returning to Thailand for his camp:
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Yan had not even signed with the UFC when he first started training at Tiger Muay Thai. He would go on to take the bantamweight division by storm, winning his first seven fights inside the octagon.
But the Russian lost his title in the most frustrating way. He hit Aljamain Sterling with an illegal soccer kick at UFC 259 and was disqualified in the fourth round of a fight he was clearly winning.
The two men would rematch at UFC 273 with Sterling winning by split decision. Again there was controversy with Yan appearing to have done enough to win three of the five rounds.
— UFC (@ufc) March 7, 2021
Yan has now lost two out of his last three fights as well as the bantamweight belt. In between the losses to Sterling was a decision win over Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267 which briefly earned him the interim title.
But he is still the #1 ranked bantamweight and the Russian remains in the title mix. He will be a strong favourite against an opponent who has amassed a big fan following but is only at #13 in the rankings.
Yan had to prepare for the first fight with Sterling in Russia as Covid-19 restrictions made it too difficult to get into Thailand. He is back in Phuket ahead of UFC 260 and will be looking to show he is back to his best.
He will not be the only Russian preparing for a big fight at Tiger Muay Thai. Anatoly Malykhin is also there, he faces Arhan Bhullar in a heavyweight unification bout at ONE 161 next month.