Categories: UFC

Aljamain Sterling Reflects On Petr Yan DQ Victory: He Was Beating My Ass, That’s A Fact

Published by
Ross Markey

Reigning UFC bantamweight champion, Aljamain ‘Funk Master’ Sterling has reflected once again on his UFC 259 matchup with former champion, Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan which took place in March. Sterling claimed that whilst the Dudinka native’s decision to throw an illegal knee resulted in a disqualification — he admits Yan was comfortably beating him up and until that point.

Taking the first slot of a championship tripleheader pay-per-view event at the UFC Apex facility, Uniondale native, Sterling challenged for UFC gold for the first time in his promotional stint, meeting Russian standout, Yan in his first attempted title defense.

Despite an early start from Sterling, Yan began to take over the second round onwards, scoring a knockdown as well as a slew of notable strikes and eye-catching slips and trips in the clinch.

However, in the fourth round, Yan landed an illegal knee to the head of Sterling, who was a downed fighter at the time of impact, with referee, Marc Smith immediately separating the two.

Deemed unable to continue by the Octagon-sided physician as well as the referee, Sterling became the first champion in the history of the UFC to lift the title off the back of a disqualification win.

In the time since, Sterling has defended his responsibility regarding the outcome of the matchup, continuously claiming that if Yan didn’t throw the illegal strike, he would not have lost the title via disqualification.

A championship rematch between the two was then booked to take co-headlining status at UFC 267 in October on ‘Fight Island’. However, reports emerged last week detailing how the defending champion had been refused medical clearance to compete at UFC 267, as he continues to deal with nerve issues in his neck and arm following recent neck surgery to deal with a lingering issue.

With Sterling out of proceedings, Yan is slated to remain on the Abu Dhabi, UAE card — clashing with soon-to-be common-foe, the #3 ranked Cory ‘The Sandman’ Sandhagen in an interim bantamweight title fight — with the victor clashing with Sterling in a title unification bout.

Appearing on The MMA Hour with reporter, Ariel Helwani, Sterling addressed the current outlook of the division, before conceding that Yan was winning, quite comfortably prior to his disqualification loss.

This whole thing, Ariel, could have been avoided,” Sterling said. “I hope, just hope the fans understand that — the reasonable fans with a brain, actually understand that this was all because of Petr Yan. This division is now in this situation because of him.

He could have won the fight, he was on his way,” Sterling explained. “He was dominating. He started to pull away, he was beating my ass all (of the) fourth round. I landed two head kicks right before I shot in and he kneed me in the head. But he was beating my ass, that’s — that’s a fact.

With the disqualification victory, Sterling extended his winning run to six straight fights, having previously stopped the aforementioned, Sandhagen with a first round rear-naked choke at UFC 250 following other decision wins over Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera, as well as a Suloev stretch win over Cody Stamann.

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Published by
Ross Markey

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