‘I Think That’s a Big Issue’- Aljamain Sterling Addresses Petr Yan Dominating Him in Wrestling at UFC 259

Published 03/10/2021, 7:00 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 06: Aljamain Sterling prepares to fight Cory Sandhagen in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 250 event at UFC APEX on June 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Aljamain Sterling became the UFC bantamweight champion at UFC 259. His opponent Petr Yan was disqualified for an illegal shot and subsequently lost his belt. However, Sterling was not too impressed with his own performance.

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‘Funkmaster’, who started the fight at a high pace, faded as the rounds progressed. In the fourth round, he looked very fatigued. Also, considering his high wrestling pedigree, his output wasn’t quite fitting. Sterling landed only 1/17 takedowns on his Russian counterpart. Hence, he believes there’s still room for improvement.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Aljamain Sterling punches Petr Yan of Russia 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)

In an interview with The Schmo recently, the new champion said, “To not go back and see what I could do better will just be naive of me. And I know, I know, I could do better man, I got sparring videos, fifth round, I’m still keeping out my output and not like that.

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Sterling warned Yan ahead of the fight that he would cause problems with his wrestling. The fight played out differently in all fairness. Referring to that, Sterling said, “I talked about father’s plan, all this, and I could only get one takedown. There’s something to be said about that. And I think that’s a big issue.”

“So I got to figure out what that is. And hopefully, I can make those adjustments and get the belt the way that I want to get the belt.”

A rematch between the duo is almost certain to happen next. However, there is no timeline given yet on when that could happen.

Who fought better at UFC 259: Petr Yan or Aljamain Sterling?

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Funkmaster‘ was the brighter fighter in the earlier rounds. Although he got dropped by Yan at the very beginning of the contest, he kept his high output. But, he would be disappointed with his wrestling as he missed all his shots. Surprisingly, Yan reversed Sterling’s attempts and landed seven takedowns of his own.

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)

No Mercy‘ though was seemingly gaining control of the contest as the fight was progressing and was in the ascendency. Both fighters had their moments and hence, a rematch is absolutely necessary to settle the debate of who is the better fighter, once and for all.

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What did you make of Aljamain Sterling’s wrestling against Petr Yan? Let us know.

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Apratim Banerjee

871 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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