‘Call Should Never Be on the Fighter’- Justin Gaethje Not Happy With Delay in DQ Loss for Petr Yan at UFC 259

Published 03/07/2021, 12:21 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 05: (L-R) Opponents Petr Yan of Russia and Aljamain Sterling face off during the UFC 259 weigh-in at UFC APEX on March 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC 259 was supposed to be one of the best fight cards in recent UFC history. However, the first title fight has ensured that this event will be enshrined in history for all the wrong reasons. We saw the first title switch due to disqualification after Petr Yan landed an illegal knee to a clearly downed Aljamain Sterling. It was a brutal shot and ‘Aljo’ was deemed unable to continue.

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However, there was a lot of time between Sterling getting hurt and the fight being called. ‘Funkmaster’ was out on the mat and was having an obviously hard time getting back to his feet. His eyes were glazed, and he looked concussed. However, the referee and doctor kept waiting to see if he wanted to continue.

Justin Gaethje was not happy with that delay and expected the doctor to act more promptly.

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Gaethje was one hundred percent correct, as fans would believe that fighters should not make calls like that when they are hurt. It is a title fight, the natural instinct for them is to continue.

Given the fact that he is a professional fighter, ‘Funkmaster’ would have continued and this could have been bad for him as the bout went deep.

UFC 259: Where does the UFC go from here?

The bantamweight division is messed up now. Everyone expected a natural order of progression where the winner of this fight defended the title against Cory Sandhagen or TJ Dillashaw if there is meat to their fight rumors. However, it seems the events at UFC 259 will necessitate an immediate rematch. Furthermore, the new champion will also probably serve a medical suspension, which will delay the re-booking.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 20: UFC President Dana White interacts with the media during the UFC 197 on-sale press conference event inside MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on January 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Also, it seems Yan’s corner asked him to throw the knee, as revealed by Joe Rogan in the post-fight interviews.

Yan was winning the fight. Despite being out-struck in the first two rounds, ‘No Mercy’ was landing efficient shots and dominating as a counter striker. Sterling was in trouble at the end of the fight, and this knee has taken away what could have been a legacy-defining first title defense for Petr Yan.

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What did you make of the fight-ending events of the UFC 259 bantamweight title fight and Justin Gaethje’s comments?

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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