Petr Yan lost his title at UFC 259 – but it came at his own doing rather than his opponent’s.
Yan dropped his bantamweight crown after landing an illegal knee to incapacitate the downed challenger, Aljamain Sterling, this past Saturday night. Since then, the community has been buzzing with many a thought on the matter. Among the names was the former light heavyweight kingpin, Jon Jones.
“Aljamain came in great shape, he fought forward every second of that fight, not his fault he got illegally kneed. Congratulations Champion, you did it” Jones tweeted.
Leading to Yan responding with “Anthony Smith should have taken your title.”
No stranger to controversy himself for a multitude of reasons, Jones’ most recent brush up will rules and regulations came at UFC 235 in March 2019.
After four dominant rounds against Anthony Smith, Jones, like Petr Yan, would land an illegal knee to a downed opponent in round four of the bout. Unlike Sterling, Smith was able to continue competing and went on to lose a unanimous decision. Had he not have been able to continue, Smith would have gone home as the champion that night.
Heading into the fourth round of action in this most recent bantamweight clash, two judges had Yan up 29-28 with a Sterling 29-28 for the outlier. Again in a similar fashion to Jones, this was Yan’s first loss in the promotion and only the second of his career. For Jones, his lone career loss was a DQ against Matt Hamill in 2009.
In the case of “Funkmaster,” Sterling has now seen his winning streak extended to six dating back to 2018. Unsurprisingly, Dana White and Petr Yan are all for making the rematch happen as soon as possible. Sterling, on the other hand, now finds himself with some options as Henry Cejudo appears to be more interested than ever in coming out of his short-lived retirement.