Petr Yan has been studying some UFC history. He says that no bantamweight has ever won the title three times and the Russian is determined to become he first.

The road back to the title begins this weekend at UFC 280. Yan knows his fight with Sean O’Malley might not turn out to be a title eliminator but believes it could be the start of a historic third run at the belt,

“I believe in UFC history no one won the (bantamweight) belt three times. That’s why my goal is to accomplish that, so my next title run will start with the win in the next fight,” he told


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tiger Muay Thai (@tigermuaythai)

Big name

O’Malley is a big name but is only ranked at #11. So Yan knows it is not the type of fight that will land him an immediate title shot but says he accepted it due to the dearth of alternative options.

“Listen, it’s not Sean who took this fight. It was me who accepted the fight since everyone in the top five were busy. I didn’t want to have a long layoff because I wanted to return to the title picture as soon as possible.”

While O’Malley might be the more popular of the two fighters #1 ranked Yan thinks his opponent was lucky to get a shot at an opponent ranked in the upper echelons of the bantamweight division,

“It’s a big opportunity for Sean that the number one contender took the fight with him, so he is lucky that everything worked out that way.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tiger Muay Thai (@tigermuaythai)

Next in line

But Yan also knows that beating one of the biggest names on the roster would not do his own popularity any harm. It is something he sounds very confident he will do,

“I understand that he is a popular fighter that the UFC is banking on. He definitely has some skills, but I believe I’m better than him in all aspects.”

Being ranked #1 means that Yan is next in line for a title shot, at least on paper. Beating O’Malley would only underline his credentials and the Russian thinks a shot at the champion could be next,

“I believe after the win at UFC 280 I will be the next in line for the title shot, because I’m confident that I’m the most deserving challenger among everyone else.”

While he sounds extremely confident Yan makes it clear that complacency is not an issue. He has been training at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket and thinks he knows exactly how the fight will play out and is well prepared,

“I’m not overconfident before this fight. As always, I have an understanding about how this fight can play out and my goal is to win, no matter what.”