Number one contender Petr Yan will be attempting to prove that he is the rightful bantamweight champion when he and number three ranked Cory Sandhagen meet for the interim title in the co-main event of UFC 267. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.
- When: Saturday, October 30th at 7:30 am PT (ESPN+)
- Where: Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Line: Petr Yan -235 and Cory Sandhagen +190; over 4.5 rounds (-135) or under 4.5 rounds (+105); Yan by KO/TKO/DQ (+200), by sub (+1000) and decision (+150) and Sandhagen by KO/TKO/DQ (+650), by sub (+1200) and by decision (+400); odds via Draftkings Sportsbook.
Cory ‘The Sandman’ Sandhagen gets his first title shot since number two ranked T.J. Dillashaw is still recovering from knee surgery, after reigning champion Aljamain Sterling failed to receive medical clearance for the bout where he was supposed to defend his title in a rematch with Yan.
Sandhagen has a three-inch reach and four-inch height advantage over Yan. He averages 6.32 significant strikes landed per minute (SLpM) with a 47 percent striking accuracy, 4.05 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 59 percent striking defense, 0.74 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 44 percent takedown accuracy, 65 percent takedown defense and 0.6 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.
The Sandman has won three of his last five, with wins over Frankie Edgar (TKO Rd1, 2021), Marlon Moraes (TKO Rd2, 2020) and Raphael Assuncao (UD, 2019) and losses to T.J. Dillashaw (SD, 2021) and Aljamain Sterling (sub Rd1, 2020).
Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan was five and a half minutes away from defending the championship in a convincing manner when he was disqualified for illegally kneeing Aljamain Stewart in the fourth round of their title bout at UFC 259 in March of this year.
Yan is a year younger than Sandhagen, averaging 5.99 strikes (significant) landed per minute (SLpM) with a 52 percent striking accuracy, 3.55 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 62 percent striking defense, 2.14 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 66 percent takedown accuracy, 90 percent takedown defense and 0.1 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.
Prior to his disqualification loss, Yan had seven straight wins in the UFC including victories over Jose Aldo (TKO Rd5, 2020), Uriah Faber (TKO Rd3, 2019), Jimmy Rivera (UD, 2019), John Dodson (UD, 2019) and Douglas Silva de Andrade (TKO Rd2, 2018).
Cory Sandhagen vs. Petr Yan Narratives
One of the prominent narratives heading into this match-up is that Petr Yan is the rightful bantamweight champion and that Aljamain Stewart played up his injury from the illegal knee as a way of claiming the title in a contest that was slipping away from him. Yan backers believe he is cut from a different cloth with merciless, technical striking, superior grappling and cardio that seems to improve as the fight goes on.
Sandhagen opened as a +250 underdog but money has come in on him to move the line to +190, and those backing the Sandman could see value in Sandhagen’s quality of opponents, significant reach advantage, output and ability to put the lights out at any given moment.
Petr Yan against 4 opponents who average <10 distance strike attempts per minute:
+1.72 distance strike differential (landed minus absorbed)
Against 4 who average >10 for their careers:
+0.2 differential per min
Sandhagen's 16.35 attempts/min rank 34th in UFC history#UFC267
— MMA By The Numbers (@NumbersMMA) October 26, 2021
Cory Sandhagen vs. Petr Yan Prediction
Many think that Cory Sandhagen beat T.J. Dillashaw, and even though Sandhagen outstruck Dillashaw 128 to 110, Dillashaw’s 2 takedowns and 8 minutes and 22 seconds of control time may have swayed the judges in his favor and it was wrestling that Aljamain Stewart also used to overwhelm Sandhagen into submission.
Yan was being outstruck by Stewart but had tallied seven takedowns and control time that helped him accumulate the lead before his disqualification, and Yan can utilize his superior, tenacious grappling ability to negate Sandhagen’s reach advantage and ultimately wear his opponent down.
We are confident that Yan’s wrestling, defensive ability, durability and endurance will lead to a victory over Sandhagen. Even though we normally do not like laying too much juice, now that money has come in on Sandhagen to make the line closer, we see value on Yan at -235. If forced to pick a method of victory, we anticipate that a wrestling-heavy game plan, taken together with the fact that Sandhagen has never been knocked out, will lead to this fight going to the scorecards.
Pick: Petr Yan by decision (+150)