Aljamain Sterling is the new UFC Bantamweight Champion as Peter Yan disqualified for intentional illegal strike

Aljamain Sterling gets the belt wrapped around his waist at UFC 259. He won the title after Petr Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee.

Aljamain Sterling wins razor-thin decision against Petr Yan at UFC 273

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, April 9, 2022, for UFC 273, going down live from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

Headlining the event is a featherweight championship bout between Alexander Volkanovski and no. 4 ranked Chan Sung Jung, while the co-main event is contested in the bantamweight division, a rematch between UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and interim champion Petr Yan.

Of course, their first fight ended in severe controversy, as then champion Yan illegally kneed a downed Sterling, and he was disqualified considering. Sterling was given the belt, and we’ve been awaiting the rematch ever since.

Sterling has been inactive since that first encounter, making this his first fight in 13 months, while Yan laid claim to the interim bantamweight championship in his next fight with a win over Cory Sandhagen last October.

Continue reading to see how this lightweight encounter went down:

Official Result: Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan via split decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Yan begins to control the center of the octagon, and immediately this is a different fight from their first.

Sterling is far more reserved this time around, which will be good for his cardio, but he’s not offering Yan much thus far.

Yan starts the second the same way he ended the first, in control, until he slips up for a split second and Sterling immediately takes his back. For over three minutes Sterling pounded away violently and attempted chokes, though Yan is able to survive until the third.

Yan looks a little better to start the third, he is controlling the center of the octagon again, but again Sterling is able to duck under him and take his back. Sterling again has Yan’s back for three-plus minutes.

This is a much different fight than many of us anticipated.

Yan lands some effective strikes early on in the fourth that appear to be affecting Sterling, but Sterling is able to capitalize on Yan’s evasion and take his back again.

Too bad for Sterling, he was too high on the back, and was shook off onto the bottom where he spent the remainder of the round. It’s 2-2 going into the fifth!

Yan lands some beautiful strikes throughout round five, including a flying knee followed by a left hook, but the story of it was really Sterling’s failed takedown attempts, the last of which saw Yan capitalize and take his back.

Yan finishes the fight strongly after being down badly after the third was over.

A draw, 47-47, or Yan 48-47 was the most justifiable score for this fight. But, it was very close.

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