Current Bantamweight Title Challenger, Aljamain Sterling has been calling Petr Yan a paper champion for quite a while now. Sterling is ready to prove this statement on their title fight. It will be Sterling’s first shot at the title after 15 UFC fights, he may have come a long way, but it was paid in full.
For some fans that don’t know what a paper champ is. A paper champ is someone who is a champion by title but his or her resume lacks the name to become a legit champion. Do you agree with Sterling’s statement that Yan is a paper champ?
Let’s take a look at Yan’s resume on who he has faced and beaten to get the vacant title. He became a champion in just his 7th UFC fight by beating Jose Aldo. We all know Jose Aldo is one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time but he has not gotten a win and coming off a loss in the bantamweight division, therefore does not deserve to fight for the title.
If he was a current champion in a different division, it would have made sense as it would an attempt to become a two division champion.
But what did Yan do prior to the title fight? He beat a 40 year old Urijah Faber who came out of retirement, yes he did brutally beat him and Faber is a big name in the small division but he was not the prime Faber that dominated a lot of fighters.
Aside from that, Yan has beaten top contenders John Dodson and Jimmie Rivera. Although if we compare his resume to guys like Moraes, Sterling and Dillashaw, his winning record may seem thin for a bantamweight champion. Yan was simply put in the right place and at the right time.
For the opponent’s resume, Aljamain Sterling has beaten a lot of tough contenders that he dismantled easily. Although he has suffered a few losses here and there, he still came through. He lost to Moraes in a brutal fashion but since then is on a 5-fight win streak. He has beaten top guys like Cory Sandhagen, Pedro Muhnoz and other top bantamweight contenders.
At the end of the day, Sterling has a chance to prove his statement is true, but if Yan beats Sterling, he is simply the best bantamweight out there. The fight will answer whether Yan is the best bantamweight out there or was he a a paper champ.