Shocking results in the Bantamweight Championship bout this weekend saw the referee stop the fight due to an intentional illegal knee.
Defending his belt for the first time at UFC 259, Petr Yan let it all slip out of his hands thanks to a reckless decision to knee his grounded opponent.
It is probably not controversial to say that the Russian was fairly in the lead up until that point. He looked to be patiently picking his shots, excellently defending and slowly wearing down Aljamain Sterling.
By the third round at least, Aljo was looking a lot less fresh and was susceptible to Yan’s merciless walkdown. Multiple times, Yan was able to trip up Sterling and even locked in back control at one point.
That was until the illegal strike was thrown, ending the fight abruptly.
Now, in the aftermath of the scrap, corner cam footage has been released of Yan's corner after it was claimed by Khabib Nurmagomedov that they were the ones ordering their fighter to throw the knee.
Take a watch below and see what you think!
Whether it was the corner's fault or Yan's himself, the Funkmaster showcased why he was the #1 competitor in the first place. We witnessed a dynamic array of flying knees, spinning elbows and creative scrambles when taken down.
Unhappy Champ & Apologies
Despite being crowned ‘And New’ after standing four rounds against the former champion, Aljamain Sterling seemed less than happy about his win.
The fighter was clearly in a state of concussion and unable to stand on his own as Bruce Buffer announced his new title. He was seen shaking his head, crying and even removed the belt from his waist, letting it drop to the floor.
Thankfully, after the fight, Yan showed remorse and made a full acknowledgment and apology to Sterling for his ill-advised strike. However, coming into the fight, Yan seemed bent on creating a rivalry with Sterling despite having little to to beef about.
During the press conference, instigators from the media asked pointed questions to bring to light any bad blood; after which, the cool Yan began making some comments to agitate Sterling.
Bantamweight Division Struggles
The bantamweight division is a precarious one - many UFC fans sleep on it in favour of more violent and power-led fights to be found in heavier weight classes. It’s why Henry Cejudo, who vacated his throne in May last year, built up such a cringe-worthy, entertaining persona.
It was all transparently done to attract views and ‘save’ the division from potentially being scrapped by the promotion. Cejudo succeeded, but other true artists like former Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson have felt under-appreciated, hence leaving for more ‘technically-minded’ audiences at other promotions.
At the end of the day, Aljamain Sterling is deservedly the new Bantamweight Champion of the UFC; he’ll be looking to affirm his new title as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Yan will be plotting his next moves to reclaim his untested championship status. The two are bound to meet soon for a rematch, which, thanks to events this Saturday, will probably be tinted with some authentic animosity.News Now - Sport News