Petr Yan seemingly received conflicting instructions from his coaches in the moments leading up to his disqualification loss to Aljamain Sterling.
Yan took on Sterling in one of three title fights on the UFC 259 bill last Saturday in Las Vegas. The Russian entered the Octagon as the UFC bantamweight champion, but after blasting Sterling with an illegal knee, lost the fight via disqualification, and surrendered the title to his dazed opponent as a result.
In the immediate fallout of this fight, there was extensive debate on social media about whether Yan meant to throw the illegal knee or not.
However, it quickly became clear that the onus lay in part on Yan’s cornermen, who weren’t exactly clear in their instructions for him.
Watch Yan’s corner in the moments before and after he threw the illegal knee below (via ESPN).
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 7, 2021
Daniel Cormier, who was on commentary duty for the card, summed up the incident as follows—as relayed to him by Russian-speaking former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov:
“Well guys, you can hear, right,” Cormier said. “One guy [in the Yan corner] is saying ‘just punch.’ Then somebody in that corner goes ‘yes’ when Yan says ‘kick?’ It’s in Russian. Khabib heard it, sitting over here. We couldn’t understand the language, but somebody in that corner yelled ‘yes [kick],’ and Petr Yan lands an illegal that ultimately cost him the UFC championship.”
While this was an undeniably disappointing outcome for this anticipated Yan vs. Sterling fight, all signs point to the pair rematching for the bantamweight strap in the near future.
“It sucked,” White said at the UFC 259 post-event press conference. “It was a good fight. That was a fight that everybody was excited about. Everybody knew it was going to be good. That was a bad one.
“Sterling wants the rematch, too,” he added. “We’ll figure it out.”
What are your thoughts on the end of last Saturday’s Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling fight?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM