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Video | Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling meet in Abu Dhabi with an ‘unexpected outcome’

Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan engaged in a fiery feud over ownership of the UFC bantamweight title between 2020 and 2022. Their first fight ended with Yan being DQ’d over an illegal knee. Despite how blatant the foul was, Sterling was widely accused of faking the an injury to ‘steal’ Yan’s belt.

One year later, Sterling won their rematch via a razor thin split decision to legitimize his reign as the undisputed 135 pound champion.

A lot of trash talk was spewed leading up to and between the two fights, with Yan fans being particularly nasty to ‘Funkmaster.’ Petr dubbed Aljamain a clown after the DQ incident, and the American’s social media was flooded with clown emojis for months as he slowly recovered from neck surgery.

While Yan has never accepted the result of their second fight as legitimate, he seems to have moved past the public hate he exhibited for Sterling over the past few years. When he and his rival ran into each other in Abu Dhabi on Sunday leading up to their respective UFC 280 bouts, things were surprisingly cordial.

Aljamain Sterling uploaded the encounter to his YouTube channel, labeling it an ‘unexpected outcome.’ Petr made some small talk with Aljamain, asking him when he arrived. He then took the initiative to shake hands with ‘Funkmaster’ unprompted.

Sterling laid out his feelings towards Yan in an interview with Sports Illustrated before departing to Abu Dhabi.

“Right now, Yan’s not a factor for me,” he said. “But I’m sure there will still be some tension between us. In the back of his mind, I’m sure he wants to run it back. In the back of my mind, I know I’m going to step back in there with him. I know how good he is, and I know he’ll get back to the championship level. I’ll see him again.”

Sterling is set to defend the 135 pound title at UFC 280 against former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, who was stripped of the belt after testing positive for EPO. Even though Dillashaw is coming off a two year suspension and knee injury, bookies are giving him tight +140 odds against the -170 Sterling.

As for Petr Yan, he’s facing rising star Sean O’Malley. It’s a fight everyone is expecting the -300 Yan to win, but the +260 dog O’Malley is no joke. After calling ‘Suga’ a ‘pink poodle,’ Yan has largely shut down his social media smack talk to concentrate on training. According to the Russian, ‘my fists will do the talking.’

What do you think of Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling’s encounter in Abu Dhabi, PENN Nation? Is there new-found respect between the two competitors or is Petr just focused 100% on Sean O’Malley? Let us know in the comments!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM