Aljamain Sterling won the UFC bantamweight title by default when Petr Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee strike in the 4th round this Saturday, in the first of three championship fights at UFC 259.
Sterling appeared disappointed when the belt was wrapped around his waist, especially after a fight he seemed to be losing to Petr Yan initially. He unhooked the belt and threw it onto the canvas before he left the octagon. This was an unexpected behavior from someone who had just won the UFC Championship. But his reaction seemed fair after the bizarre events that unfolded on the game night.
The fight was stopped with only 31 seconds left in quarter 4. This is when Petr Yan drove his knee into the face of Sterling, who was kneeling on the canvas in front of him. The physician on the ring declared that Sterling will not be able to play on further as a consequence of the hit. Mark Smith, the referee, declared that it was an illegal knee played with foul intention leading to the consequent disqualification of Yan.
Petr Yan Apologizes To Sterling After Illegal Strike
Precautionary reasons got Sterling to the hospital, later on, the UFC mentioned in a statement. Later the day, Yan apologized for the illegal strike over Twitter. He said, “I didn’t mean to throw an illegal strike. I just made a big mistake and paid for it.” The disqualified player also wished for the speedy recovery of Sterling.
After the championship, Aljamain said in a statement that this was not how he expected to win. He mentioned that the fight was tough and that he was close. But that was not how he had envisioned his victory. Owing to his utter disappointment, he took off the belt and flung it away after the game.