UFC 267 Odds & Pick for Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen: How To Bet Bantamweight Title Fight
Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Petr Yan (left) and Cory Sandhagen.
Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen Odds
With Aljamain Sterling and T.J. Dillashaw out because of their respective surgeries, it’s down to Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen in the bantamweight division.
Yan and Sandhagen will face off in Abu Dhabi on Saturday as the UFC 267 co-main event for the interim bantamweight championship, with Sterling holding the main title thanks to his controversial win last year over Yan.
Both Yan and Sandhagen are capable of delivering a great fight and have differing sizes for the 135-pound division. Let’s break down what should be a banger. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||14:01||9:03|
|Weight (pounds)||135 lbs.||135 lbs.|
|Date of birth||2/11/93||4/20/92|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.99||6.32|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.55||4.05|
|Take Down Avg||2.14||0.74|
In some alternate universe, Sandhagen and Yan are fighting for undisputed gold with Yan as the reigning champion.
In our universe, Yan enters after a loss via disqualification (from an illegal knee) against Aljamain Sterling. He relinquished his title after gaining momentum towards a finish in the latter stages of that fight.
Sandhagen is 2-2 in his past four bouts, bookended by a submission loss to Sterling and a controversial split-decision loss against T.J. Dillashaw in July. The majority of media members and 59% of fans scored the bout for Sandhagen.
Sandhagen is a massive Bantamweight, and he’ll be the larger man in the cage against Yan (4-inch height and 3-inch reach advantage).
Yan is the more efficient striker (+2.44 to +2.27 strike differential, +5% accuracy, +3% defense), as one of the best technical boxers in the UFC. He’s also a severely underrated grappler — he has shown the ability to grind on opponents (2.14 takedowns per 15 minutes, 66% accuracy) and stuff incoming shots (90% takedown defense).
The one concern with Yan (similar to Ankalaev) is volume. Both favorites are extremely patient but menacing strikers who seemingly like to put a hurt on their opponents.
Sandhagen has very explosive range attacks, and he’s a master at setting traps and maximizing his length, but he also fights at a high volume. He can definitely win minutes in a standup battle against Yan who is prone to segments of inactivity throughout his fights.
Yan also doesn’t have big power in single punches, but he’s so methodical and precise that he tends to finish opponents by accumulating damage in the second half of his fights.
That seems unlikely to happen with Sandhagen, who takes an equal amount of delight in butchering his opponents.
Still, I worry about Cory’s grappling and the fact that Yan could completely manhandle him — or take his back and submit him — based upon what we have seen from Sandhagen in the grappling realm to date.
Sandhagen denied 17-of-19 takedown attempts from T.J. Dillashaw, but he did spend 8:22 (more than 30% of their fight) in control positions against a smaller man and Yan can do the same to him here.
Yan vs. Sandhagen Pick
If this fight is a 25-minute striking battle, Sandhagen is certainly a live underdog on pure output. He’s never been outpaced in any fight that went beyond 90 seconds.
I do expect a violent fight between two durable strikers, but I also show value on this fight to go the distance (projected -140), and I would consider that prop up to -125.
Additionally, Sandhagen by decision (projected +420) could be worth a stab at +425 or better.
The Pick: Sandhagen/Yan, Fight Goes the Distance (-125)