‘Big’ John McCarthy believes Petr Yan doesn’t look like the same fighter he once was.
On March 11, Yan lost by unanimous decision against Merab Dvalishvili in the UFC Las Vegas main event, extending his losing streak to three. Although ‘No Mercy’ continues to fight elite opponents, his recent skid has been concerning to those who know how talented he was as the UFC bantamweight champion.
During an episode of Weighing In, McCarthy expressed his concern for Yan by saying:
“He’s struggling big time. He doesn’t look the same. Confidence is gone, his confidence is gone. He’s not the same striker. He doesn’t have the same output. He’s worried about being taken down… His output now is half of what it used to be ‘cause he used to build. He would start a little bit slow and he would get his reads and he would look for the tells for what he could exploit, but he would always build. He’s not building at all. He’s staying in that same gear.
In July 2020, ‘No Mercy’ won the vacant UFC bantamweight championship by defeating Jose Aldo with a fifth-round TKO. Seven months later, Yan’s title reign ended with an illegal knee disqualification against Aljamain Sterling. Since then, the Russian took out Cory Sandhagen before his three-fight losing streak started against Sterling, Sean O’Malley, and Dvalishvili.
John McCarthy thinks Petr Yan might have hurt his knee in the first round
Merab Dvalishvili’s pressure and volume overwhelmed the former bantamweight champion for five rounds. Petr Yan tends to start his fight slowly, but he never got going at UFC Las Vegas. During the same episode of Weighing In, John McCarthy revealed that he thought Yan injured his knee in the first round by saying:
“In the first round, the one thing I saw, Merab went for that shot, kinda had that little scramble, and I saw his [Yan’s], I wanna say his right leg, it looked like he hurt his knee and he took that weird step and I was trying to watch and see if it was gonna affect him. It didn’t look like it did, but I was like, I thought he hurt his knee, maybe he didn’t.”
Whether Yan was injured or not, Dvalishvili deserves all the credit for his win. After losing his first two UFC fights, ‘The Machine’ has secured nine consecutive wins. The Georgian-born fight has proven to be a legitimate future title contender because of his cardio and ability to continue evolving.