The two men will finally rematch at UFC 273 this weekend. There is clearly bad blood between then and it sounds like Yan is looking to expose Sterling,
“I wouldn’t say it’s personal. But it’s very important to beat him. To get the belt back and show him who he is,” said the interim champion.
The interim status is clearly something that bothers Yan. He wants to unify the belts and does not enjoy hearing his opponent described as the real champion,
“The rematch is long-awaited. It’s been a long time. Thoughts and emotions… to get back what belongs to me.”
However he played down reports that he was going to attack Sterling in the hotel. Yan admits to having made the comments in question but claims he was joking,
“I just made a joke, I’m not going to jeopardize the fight. If I hit him now, he’s going to call the cops.”
But while the Russian seemed to be in a good mood during the latest episode of UFC Embedded he was deadly serious when discussing the outcome of the fight. His prediction was simple,
“I kill him on Saturday.”
He still feels that Sterling exaggerated the effects of his illegal knee at UFC 259, deciding it would be easier to win by DQ than continue fighting. Yan is also upset that his opponent pulled out of the rematch due to an injury leading to a lengthy delay.
Chimaev jokingly dropped for a takedown and Yan reacted instinctively. The rising welterweight star told the watching media,
But Yan does not believe that Sterling is ready. The Russian knows that last time out, if his opponent did indeed quit, it was because he gave him a legitimate excuse to do so.
He believes Sterling will be looking for another excuse this weekend bus suggests he might have to look a little bit harder this time around,
“It’s going to be Aljamain looking for another excuse. He didn’t eat enough, or he s**t his pants.”