‘Started To Exaggerate’- Petr Yan Rips Into Aljamain Sterling For Accepting Disqualification Win At UFC 259

Published 03/13/2021, 10:23 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 28: Petr Yan weighs in at 135.5 pounds during UFC 232 official weigh-ins at Los Angeles Airport Marriott in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec 28, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)


Petr Yan could have still been UFC Bantamweight Champion right now and had his first title defense under his belt. While he started the fight at UFC 259 slow, he fought his way back into it. His opponent, Aljamain Sterling, looked to have been gassing out and Yan was on his way to an inevitable win.

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However, that is up till when Yan hit Aljo with a blatantly illegal knee to the head while Sterling had his knee on the ground. That led to a DQ loss for Yan and the first UFC title fight to end via DQ. Sterling was given the belt, but it was a bittersweet coronation, as everyone knew Yan was winning the fight at that point. That is why Yan has attacked Aljo for overselling the shot to get the DQ win.

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“First few minutes he was trying to recover, but I feel then he started to exaggerate. He started to act because he heard what the referees said. I feel he could’ve continued and it was his choice not to… He was very aware of what was going on and very aware of what he was doing. His decision to not continue and get a DQ win.”

 

Petr Yan: Should he still be champion?

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Petr Yan is correct to be upset. However, he did hit Aljamain Sterling with the illegal knee. Whether it was oversold is immaterial, as the shot made clear contact with Sterling and was a ferocious one. While the honor system within MMA fighters would expect Aljo to continue, it was the correct decision to take the DQ win rather than fight on a possible concussion.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (L-R) Petr Yan of Russia punches Aljamain Sterling in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

It was an unfair way for the fight to end. Yan couldn’t be declared champion after he incapacitated his opponent with an illegal shot. However, Yan was winning the fight at that point, so saying Aljo is a true champion is also a tough cross to bear.

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Both fighters will hopefully rematch soon to put an end to this title drama. Sterling over-selling the shot is one thing that can be debated. But the thing that can’t be debated is that Yan hit him with an illegal shot.

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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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