The Brazilian bantamweight rematches Jimmie Rivera on the main card of Saturday night’s UFC Vegas 20 at the UFC APEX, while Yan prepares to defend his UFC title against Aljamain Sterling on March 6. Yan has been training at Munhoz’s team American Top Team for UFC 259 in Florida, and they have interacted in the gym.
“Yes, we spoke,” Munhoz told MMA Fighting. “It’s all good [laughs].”
The animosity is no more, “The Yung Punished” said. Would that be an issue in case Yan continues to dominate the 135-pound class and Munhoz climbs the ranking towards a shot at the gold?
“I don’t think so,” said Munhoz, who lost a controversial split decision to Frankie Edgar in his most recent UFC appearance. “I don’t know what his strategy will be going forward, if he will do his camps permanently at American Top Team or if it was just this camp.
“We have to talk to the American Top Team leaders so we have an answer about that and work on who we’re fighting next. But as of right now, I don’t know, because I don’t know how long he’s going to train [at ATT], if he’s going to be part of the team or not.”
A member of Yan’s team told MMA Fighting it’s still unsure if he will make American Top Team his new home after UFC 259.
Munhoz has shared the eight-sided cage against Yan’s upcoming opponent in June 2019, losing a decision to Sterling in Chicago. After watching the champion train in Florida, Munhoz foresees a close battle between the two in Las Vegas.
“This is a tough fight to break down,” he said. “I didn’t train with [Yan] but I’ve seen some of his training while walking around the gym and he’s a good kid, that’s why he’s the champion. We saw his fight with [Jose] Aldo and he can take some damage, but Sterling is a tough one because he won’t fight your fight.
“Sterling has an advantage in the wrestling area but Petr Yan has good takedown defense. It’s a close fight, and whoever wins will be a tough one to dethrone for a while. They both are in a great moment in their careers. They have my respect regarding their physical attributes and they both can be champion.”