The much-anticipated fight between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling ended in an anti-climax as Yan got disqualified for landing an illegal knee.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 7, 2021
After outclassing Aljamain Sterling in the first three rounds, Petr Yan threw a knee that cost him the UFC bantamweight champion.
The fight started with Sterling putting on a crazy pace. Though he was not securing any takedown or was not landing any huge strike he was putting the pressure and volume on Yan.
However, as the fight progressed Sterling’s gameplan fell apart. Sterling was rushing through the fight and he started to fade out. His takedown attempts started to seem more labored while Yan started to pick him apart with his striking.
Petr Yan showed incredible takedown defense and also got a ton of takedowns of his own. He secured 7 takedowns throughout the fight against Aljamain Sterling who was supposed to have an advantage in the grappling department. Jump to 1:27 of the following video.
It seemed that Yan was cruising his way to the victory until he threw an illegal knee when Sterling’s knee was clearly on the ground. The referee even warned Petr Yan before he threw the knee. Later on, it was revealed that someone from Yan’s corner advised him to throw a knee and ended up costing him the title.
MMA community reacts to the controversial stoppage of Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling
Nominated for an Oscar this year are:
Robert de niro
Aljamain Sterling #UFC259
— D (@darrentill2) March 7, 2021
This call should never be on the fighter. Plain and simple. With a shot like that it’s over. Doc does his job walks in and it’s over.
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) March 7, 2021
Heres the thing you cant stall the fight by sitting on your knees. Knees to a grounded opponent should be allowed!
— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouse) March 7, 2021
The MMA community is split after this controversial decision. Fighters such as Demetirous Johnson and Darren Till criticized Aljamain Sterling for stalling the fight while Daniel Cormier, Justin Gaethje, Joe Rogan, and many supported the referee’s call to stop the fight.
Aljamain Sterling was clearly compromised and concussed and he was not in a condition to continue after the illegal blow.
Though Sterling won the fight via disqualification it can be expected that both these fighters will cross paths again with the title on the line.