Cory Sandhagen came up short Saturday at UFC 267 when he lost a unanimous decision to Petr Yan with an interim bantamweight title at stake.
In the immediate aftermath, Sandhagen (14-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) owned the defeat. When he spoke with UFC commentator Daniel Cormier in the cage moments after the decision, Sandhagen voiced optimism the experience will help him as he moves forward with his career.
“He’s a hell of a fighter, man,” Sandhagen said. “You’re a great fighter. He was better tonight, man. I don’t really have much else to say. I always ask. I always want to fight the best in the world. I know that’s what’s going to make me the best martial artist I can be. I’m grateful I got to do it tonight. I’ll take from it and I’ll learn from it and next time I face him, I’ll get the win.”
Sandhagen later added in an Instagram post, “Tough sport. Hell of a fight, Yan. Learn. Get better. The ship keeps sailing. I’m gonna be champ one day.”
The loss was Sandhagen’s second in a row. In July, he lost a debated split decision against former champion T.J. Dillashaw. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak that included victories over former title challenger Marlon Moraes and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
UFC 267 took place Saturday at Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The main card streamed on ESPN+ pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN2/ESPN+.