BREAKING: Aljamain Sterling to Defend His Bantamweight Title in a Grudge Match at UFC 272

Published 01/06/2022, 2:13 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)

Two of the biggest bantamweights in the world, Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan, will face each other in a rematch at UFC 272. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news about the two rivals co-main eventing the card on March 5.

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Both fighters have been looking to fight each other ever since the first fight ended in controversy. The pair first met at UFC 259, where Yan was the champion. The Russian was dominating the fight and looked to be in control. However, he landed an illegal knee on ‘Funk Master’, which led to his disqualification in round 4.

 

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Since then, the UFC has tried to book the rematch, and the pair were supposed to fight at UFC 267. Unfortunately for those who wanted to see the fight, Sterling pulled out because of neck issues. Yan, however, fought on the card against Cory Sandhagen for the interim bantamweight title. ‘No Mercy’ displayed a masterclass against a dangerous opponent and claimed the win via a unanimous decision.

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After UFC 267, fans have been calling for a match between the champion and the interim champion. Now, in 2022, the UFC has finally obliged.

Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan 2 will be a thriller

The rivalry between Sterling and Yan is legitimate. Both men just don’t like each other and the animosity has only grown over time. When Sterling backed out of the fight at UFC 267, ‘No Mercy‘ called him a ‘sneaky coward.’ In a video, he said, “You all know that Aljo just ran away like a sneaky coward.” 

Even after winning the interim title, he looked more eager to take on TJ Dillashaw and was not in favor of fighting Sterling. And it’s not just been Yan who’s been taking shots at his rival. In his recent tweets, ‘Funk Master’ took a shot at Russian fighters and called all of them cheats. However, he retracted from that statement and didn’t let up on Yan.

In the tweet, he said, “For the record, I do not think every Russian fighter or athlete cheats. Just like every American, Brazilian, Chinese, or any other nationality of athletes, you have the clean and dirty ones. Personally I think Cheotr Yan is a dirty cheat. Maybe I’m wrong but I highly doubt it.”

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Yan and Sterling are two combustible elements, and that will make for a great fight. While Yan will look to remove the DQ loss from everyone’s mind and prove that he is the best bantamweight in the world, Sterling will look to silence everyone that has been calling him a paper champ.

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Who do you think wins this fight? Will Yan be able to avenge his DQ loss at UFC 272? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arunaditya Aima

599 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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