Demetrious Johnson Makes a Shocking Statement on Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling-Says Knees Should Be Allowed!

Published 03/08/2021, 11:26 PM EST


Aljamain Sterling became the UFC bantamweight champion at UFC 259 after Petr Yan landed an illegal knee on him in the 4th round of their fight. Former UFC champion, Demetrious Johnson, shared his take on the situation as he suggested there should be some change in the rules.

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‘Funkmaster’ and ‘No Mercy’ were involved in a back-and-forth competitive contest until the Russian, Yan, was disqualified. The former champion received massive criticism for his actions, and many believe he was rightfully stripped of the belt. But ‘Mighty Mouse’ has a different take on the situation.

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Heres the thing you cant stall the fight by sitting on your knees. Knees to a grounded opponent should be allowed!’ Johnson wrote on Twitter. The knee from Yan was a blatant decision, and Sterling looked severely compromised because of it.

But Johnson might have a point here. Many fighters, especially grapplers, tend to take advantage of the rule as they go to the ground to avoid an onslaught from decorated strikers. Whether Sterling was trying to do that or he was just getting back to his feet when Yan landed the knee is unclear.

‘Mighty Mouse’ has been one of the most decorated UFC fighters in the lighter-weight classes. Technically, there are not many who can keep up with him. Johnson showed how to land knees on opponents within the rules of his current promotion, ONE FC.

ONE Championship allows its fighters to land knees on their opponents even if they are grounded or touching the ground. And Johnson believes the trick of using the ground is not a good form of self-defense while getting hit.

So, he wants a revision of the rules. However, it is unlikely the UFC will pay any significant attention to his request.

Were the officials right to call-off Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling?

One might argue that Sterling took too much damage to continue, and the referee was right to award him the championship by disqualifying Yan. It was most certainly the right decision if we go by the rules.

But in some previous instances, fans have seen fighters continue despite getting kneed while being grounded. Jon Jones infamously hit Anthony Smith during their fight at UFC 235 while ‘Lionheart‘ was grounded. But Smith decided to continue.

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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)

But Sterling’s case was different, as he looked very troubled by the shot. Nevertheless, it was a very competitive fight, and fans cannot wait to see the two of them running it back.

What did you make of Demetrious Johnson’s request? Let us know your thoughts.

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Apratim Banerjee

877 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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