‘Made A Big Mistake’- Petr Yan Releases Statement After Illegal Knee Disqualification

Published 03/07/2021, 1:30 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 14: Petr Yan celebrates his victory over Urijah Faber in bantamweight fight during UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yan won the fight with a third-round knockout. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)


Petr Yan is no longer the UFC bantamweight champion. While it looked like he definitely would be leaving UFC 259 with his title intact, that did not happen. However, it isn’t because Aljamain Sterling made an insane comeback. Instead, it was because Yan landed a flush intentional knee on a downed Sterling, which led to him being disqualified.

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The title has been awarded to Sterling for winning via DQ, but nobody is happy with it. Sterling refused to accept the belt and threw it in the Octagon after the post-fight formalities. It seems the pair will be re-matching soon, but this incident has left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. Either way, Yan has acknowledged the mistake and released an apology to Sterling on Twitter.

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Yan and Sterling were looking competitive. However, as the fight went on, it became obvious that ‘No Mercy’ was pulling ahead. Sterling was slowing down and taking a lot of damage. Even if Yan coasted from that point, he was guaranteed a decision win. But, he threw the ill-advised knee after his corner suggested it, and he paid the price for it.

Petr Yan: Should he still be the champion?

Many people have been vouching for Petr Yan and saying that ‘Funkmaster’ oversold the knee. That is a little improbable, as it was a clean and brutal knee. However, others agree that as the knee left Sterling incapacitated, the judges and referee should have ruled it a no-contest instead of a disqualification.

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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)

In our opinion, it was obvious that the knee should have resulted in a disqualification. Even if ‘No Mercy’ was misguided by his corner, the shot was as illegal as any strike can get. Aljo definitely looked concussed and will probably sit out for a while owing to a medical suspension.

It was a shame that the championship had to be taken from Yan, as he was winning the fight convincingly at that point. It has put both him and Sterling in a tough spot and the UFC in an even tougher spot.

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What do you think will be next for Yan and Aljamain after their marred UFC 259 fight?

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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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