Bantamweight Title UFC 259
UFC 259: With the bantamweight title on the line, Petr Yan took on Aljamain Sterling. There was a lot of hype going into the fight because of the trash talk on Twitter days before the fight and during the weigh-ins. The betting odds were also very close for a title fight.
Petr Yan is known for his striking ability while Sterling is known for her wrestling and submission ability. Sterling came out to fight in the very first round, pressuring with strikes and takedown attempts from the opening bell.
He had a lot of movement and had a good pace. This could have been bad for Sterling as he ended his previous fights early and never fought in championship rounds.
Sterling displayed some impressive grappling skills and looked like he trained heavily for this bout. However, going into round Sterling looked gassed out and Yan looked like the fresher fighter.
Yan landed some strikes as he knew what it took to be a champion as he beat Jose Aldo in th fifth-round back in July. Yan looked comfortable as he looked slow and composed as he made Sterling miss strikes and give up his back on many occasions. He made Sterling cause his own takedown attempts that drained his energy and gave Yan the ability to close the distance and land some strikes.
The finish came in the fourth round, Sterling was far beyond tired, Yan looked like to be the champion once again. Yan landed the harder strikes and Sterling was attempting to score a takedown.
What Happened Next
Once again Sterling was strong on the ground with a knee touching the ground. Yan looked to his corner waiting for the signal if he could land a kick at this situation.
Yan received the signal from his corner and accidentally landed a illegal knee, putting Sterling in very bad state, Sterling was hit on the face and made him fall to the mat despite referee Mark Smith telling Yan that Sterling was a “downed fighter.”
Sterling was given time to see if he could continue the fight but Sterling couldn’t continue as he could have sustained a concussion during that exchange. Sterling was awarded the disqualification victory, and the bantamweight championship making fans and other fighters go insane on Twitter in regards to the conversional decision.
This type of decision never happened in a championship fight which have brought the attention of many in regards to the rules. It will be interesting to see if their will be any rule changes in the near future.
The way the judges scored the fight going into round 4 was interesting. Despite Yan seeming to have established himself as the man with the momentum and looking sharper, Sterling was ahead 29-28 on one of the official scorecards after three rounds. Yan was up 29-28 on the other two. The fight, prior to the stoppage, it was pretty much even. Even if Sterling was able to continue, Sterling might have been able to pull of a win due to the point deduction.
With this type of ending to the fight, it looks like a battle with Cory Sanhagen or T.J. Dillashaw will have to wait for either fighter as they will most likely run it back on Sterling recovers from the possible concussion. Yan and Sterling may have some bad blood but they both respect each other’s drive to be a force in the UFC. Sterling even stated that he did not want the fight to end like this.
It might have not been nominated for Fight of the Night, but it will be one of the most controversial endings in UFC history.