They say when life gives you lemons – make lemonade.

In Petr Yan’s case, when all your Russian cornermen get denied visas you replace them with a star-studded team of MMA icons past and present. He will rematch Aljamain Sterling at UFC 273 as he bids to become the undisputed bantamweight king.

Unfortunately for Yan, he’ll be forced to make do without his usual supporting cast. His entire corner team were denied visas to travel to the US, presumably due to sanctions against Russia.

MMA journalist Bruno Massami reported that the only reason Yan was permitted to travel is that he already had a US visa valid for three years:

All star

The story has been playing out in real time on Twitter. As the former UFC bantamweight champion Yan already has a big reputation and has not been shy about approaching some of the most famous coaches in the world.

He used the platform to reach out to former flyweight champion Henry Cejudo who now coaches at Fight Ready in Arizona:

Another contender

Fellow bantamweight star Sean O’Malley was clearly following the story on Twitter. He threw his hat into the ring and offered his services on a Twitch stream.

The message clearly reached Yan who was quick to declare:

Potential opponents

Cejudo and O’Malley are both potential opponents for Yan, although the former is ostensibly retired. The bantamweights seem to have rallied around the former champion who is currently in Phuket, far away from the military action in Ukraine that has prompted the US sanctions.

However it remains to be seen whether Cejudo will answer the call. The American appeared to make a jibe about the illegal knee which got Yan disqualified in his first fight with Sterling.

The Russian’s response seemed less than amicable: