UFC 267: Aljamain Sterling reacts to ‘first a– whooping’ of Petr Yan


Aljamain Sterling has some words for the new interim bantamweight champion, Petr Yan. 

It comes as no surprise that current UFC bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling spent his afternoon closely watching the highly-anticipated battle between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi.

The fight between Yan and Sandhagen went to the distance. It was a back and forth war from the first bell. Although there were moments when Sandhagen was able to present some danger, Yan demonstrated why he is recognized as the most dangerous fighter in the division and has now earned his second piece of UFC bantamweight gold.

After Yan had the belt wrapped around his waist, Sterling immediately took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the fight. He showed a hint of respect but with the knowledge that he will once again face Yan to unify the belt, also threw in a dig.

Sterling was expected to defend his bantamweight title in a rematch against Yan at UFC 267 was not cleared to fight following surgery. Although Sterling originally aimed to make a quick return, the risk of complications was deemed too severe and it was decided that an opportunity to fight would come later when he would welcome the newly crowned interim bantamweight champion.

As a result of the withdrawal, it was decided in September that No. 3 bantamweight Sandhagen, who was defeated by Sterling in just 90 seconds at UFC 250, would be a suitable replacement to take Sterling’s place in the co-main event.

Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan have been beefing for years

The beef between Yan and Sterling can be traced back over two years ago when tensions began to heighten following both fighters’ successful bouts at UFC 238. Shortly after the event, Yan teased that a match-up with Sterling would not present a great challenge should they become matched up, although it fight that was destined to happen with their respective positions in the bantamweight division.

Finally, at UFC 259 in March, the long-awaited match-up between Sterling and Yan finally took place and provided a platform for both to take care of the heated rivalry that built up over the course of 2020. The fight went as many expected, a battle between a dangerous striker and an accomplished grappler, both sharing hints of success throughout until Yan gained momentum and changed it to a one-sided affair until an error made by Yan in round 4 rendered the fight a DQ by an illegal knee.

The aftermath has proven to only fuel the fire, as Sterling became the new bantamweight champ, Yan was left to watch all his hard work come to an abrupt end. As expected, the pair spent the aftermath of their bout exchanging trades on social media with hostility being shown toward Sterling for the most part by Yan, questioning the legitimacy of Sterling’s capture of the belt. Immediately after the fight, talks suggesting a rematch were quick as both men looked to go head to head once again at UFC 267.

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