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18 Jun, 2020 12:16

'Henry saw what I did to him': Petr Yan says Henry Cejudo wanted nothing to do with him after fight with training partner (VIDEO)

'Henry saw what I did to him': Petr Yan says Henry Cejudo wanted nothing to do with him after fight with training partner (VIDEO)

UFC title challenger Petr Yan has suggested that his ACB win against Henry Cejudo's training partner Matheus Mattos convinced the former double-champion to opt for an early retirement.

Yan will attempt to secure the 135lb title recently vacated by Cejudo when he takes on Jose Aldo as part of a trio of title bouts on "Fight Island" next month, but he says that his upward momentum in the bantamweight division may well explain why Cejudo chose now as the time for his exit strategy from combat sports.

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The former ACB bantamweight champion is a perfect 6-0 in his UFC career to date, which was added to a run in his former promotion which saw him defeat all comers (including avenging his sole career loss to Magomed Magomedov).

One fight though – a third-round KO win against Cejudo's training partner Matheus Mattos – might have left an impression on the American former champion, he says.

"ACB was a great experience for me," Yan told RT Sport.

"I had the opportunity to face great strikers [and] wrestlers. Matheus Mattos, maybe you know that he is the main sparring partner of Henry Cejudo?

"I think Henry saw what I did to him. Actually, when I met Matheus at one of the UFC events, you know, he was just pretending that he don't even know me and always tried to look away."

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The win against the previously undefeated Mattos was Yan's last fight in ACB before making his UFC debut in 2018, where the hotly-rated Yan was predicted to one day be a challenger to the bantamweight division's elite. 

Instead of Cejudo, Yan will face one of the UFC featherweight division's most enduring names in Jose Aldo as the Brazilian looks to secure title gold in his second weight division - but as Yan suggests, his ascent to a UFC championship is inevitable, no matter who stands across the cage from him.