Tonight’s UFC 273 event is co-headlined by a bantamweight title fight rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.
Sterling (20-3 MMA) will be returning to action for the first time since capturing the bantamweight title at UFC 259. ‘Funkmaster’ was awarded the championship after ‘No Mercy’ was disqualified for throwing an illegal knee.
Meanwhile, Petr Yan (16-2 MMA) was last seen in action at UFC 267 where he captured the promotions interim bantamweight title by defeating Cory Sandhagen. The Russian standout has gone 8-1 since joining the UFC ranks in June of 2018.
Round one of the UFC 273 co-main event begins and Petr Yan comes forward quickly to the take the center of the Octagon. Aljamain Sterling lands a low kick. He shoots in for a takedown but Yan sprawls beautifully and avoids. He swings and just misses with a left hand. The American crowd begins chanting for Petr Yan. ‘Funkmaster’ with a kick to the body. Yan responds with a right hand. Sterling answers with another kick to the body. ‘No Mercy’ leaps in and lands a strong kick to the body. He is really pressing the pace here. A good low kick and then a right hand from the Russian. Aljamain is taking a much more measured approach here but it is Yan getting off the better strikes. Both men are throwing heavy leather, nearly falling over on some of these punch attempts. Sterling continues to attack the body of Yan with kicks. Petr with a nice left before the horn sounds to end round one.
Round two of the UFC 273 co-main event begins and Petr Yan attacks early. Sterling returns fire with a kick. He lands another. He shoots in and is able to score a takedown. He immediately takes the back and begins searching for a rear-naked choke. ‘Funkmaster’ has a body triangle now. He begins to work some big punches from the back. Yan looks to scramble but now Sterling is in full mount. Big shots from ‘Funkmaster’. Petr Yan rolls again and ‘Aljo’ is now on his back. Twenty seconds remain now. Yan just has to survive. He does and will live to see round three.
What a round for @FunkmasterMMA 😳
— UFC (@ufc) April 10, 2022
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) April 10, 2022
Round three of the UFC 273 co-headliner begins and Petr Yan lands a nice punch followed by a hard low kick. Sterling looks for a takedown but it is not there. Big kicks from both men now. Sterling is in on a since leg but can’t convert the takedown. Yan has him pinned against the cage but ‘Aljo’ breaks free. ‘No Mercy’ with a wild punch and Sterling ducks under and shoots and lands another takedown. He immediately moves to the back of Yan and locks in another body triangle. This is a terrible spot for Yan and ‘Funkmaster’ has a lot of time to work. He is slowly hunting for this rear-naked choke. Still two minutes remain. Sterling continues to work for the choke but Yan is doing a great job of defending.
Round four of the UFC 273 co-main event begins and Petr Yan tags Aljamain Sterling with a straight left. He lands a good knee to the body of ‘Funkmaster’. A big low kick now from ‘No Mercy’. Sterling looks to dive in for a takedown but this time Yan stuffs it. He lands a pair of punches and then moves to the back of ‘Aljo. Back on the feet and Petr Yan lands a flying knee. Both men with big shots in the pocket. Aljamain Sterling lands a nice kick but then Yan shoots in and scores the takedown. He works some short shots before the horn sounds to end round four.
The fifth and final round of the UFC 273 co-main event begins and Petr Yan drops Aljamain Sterling with a low kick. ‘Funkmaster’ is back to his feet but eats another low kick. He shoots in and drives Yan up against the cage. The Russian breaks free and fires off a combination. Sterling goes to the body with a kick and then shoots in on another takedown. He presses Yan up against the cage and lands a knee. Yan reverses the position and breaks free from the clinch. ‘Aljo’ immediately shoots for another takedown. Yan stuffs it and then has to defend another. He does and then fires off a combination. He lands a knee and then a left hand. A big kick to the body now and Sterling is down. Yan takes his back and begins to drop down punches. Sterling scrambles free and shoots in for a takedown but Yan pulls off an amazing scramble to stay on his feet. Under a minute remains and Yan is on Sterling’s back. He lands a knee to the body and then a right hand to the face. Petr Yan takes the back and looks to lock in a rear-naked choke. He can’t do so before the horn sounds to end the fight.
Official UFC 273 Result: Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan by split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
Who would you like to see Sterling fight next following his split-decision victory over Yan this evening in Jacksonville?