The UFC interim Bantamweight champion Petr Yan is on a quest to regain his undisputed title as he goes up against the champ Aljamain Sterling in the co-main event of UFC 273.
Petr Yan defeated Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267 to claim the interim championship. Hence, he punched his ticket for another bout against Aljamain Sterling. The first fight between the two ended on an anticlimactic note as Yan landed an illegal knee on Aljo’s head.
According to the rules in MMA, a fighter is not allowed to use their knee against an opponent who is on the ground. As a result, Yan’s knee was deemed illegitimate and he was disqualified. Aljo became the undisputed champion at UFC 259.
Petr Yan questions Aljamain Sterling’s dignity ahead of their rematch at UFC 273
The road to getting an opportunity to avenge the loss was a long one for the Russian fighter. Although the UFC tried to book the rematch multiple times, injuries to both fighters prevented that from happening.
Aljamain Sterling had to undergo neck surgery meanwhile. It pushed the UFC to book the above mentioned interim title fight in October of last year.
However, everything seems to fall in place this time around as both fighters are on track to face each other next weekend. In promotion of the fight, the company put out its exclusive countdown video detailing each fighter’s preparation for UFC 273. During the video, Petr Yan spoke about their last fight and addressed the referee stoppage.
Yan was comfortably winning the fight before the illegal knee landed. Hence, he questioned Sterling’s dignity for accepting the championship after being down on the cards. Yan said,
“At that moment (of stoppage), I was like, ‘What have I done? It was all so close.” But I think, the worst scenario for me in that fight, should have been ruled as no contest instead of awarding a losing fighter with the belt. After such a fight, a fighter with dignity would not accept this title and would not name himself a champion.”
UFC 273 is set to go down on April 9 in Jacksonville, Florida. While Sterling vs Yan will be the co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski vs The Korean Zombie will headline the card. It will also feature a much-hyped fight between Gilbert Burns and Khamzat Chimaev.