In one of many largest mind fades in UFC championship battle historical past, Petr Yan has been disqualified from his bantamweight title battle in opposition to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 after throwing an unlawful knee.
Yan drove his proper knee immediately into Sterling’s face, however the challenger was downed on the time.
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Sterling tried to regain his composure and his ft for over three minutes, however referee Marc Smith had no different choice however to disqualify Yan and anoint Sterling the brand new 135-pound champion.
Yan was in full management of the battle on the time of the foul and was seemingly on observe to defending the belt efficiently for the primary time.
UFC president Dana White positioned the belt round Sterling’s waist, however the emotional Aljo took it off and left it within the Octagon.
“Every part I labored for so far, to have the battle go like that,” he mentioned by tears.
“I believed it was shut, I believed I used to be down two rounds. That is not the best way I wished to win. That is not how I envisioned this. I took the belt off. I used to be in dangerous form and it could’ve been ego making me battle on.
“I wished to proceed. It was fast-paced, numerous motion. The motion was continuous till that bulls—.”
After the bout, it was revealed that Yan’s nook advised him he was allowed to knee Sterling regardless of the challenger being grounded.
Sterling got here flying out of the blocks, throwing all the pieces within the opening minute and a half. Yan was tagged a lot and backed up beneath the insane tempo and strain of the challenger.
Aljo caught the primary takedown he tried, however Yan regained his ft and rapidly modified the momentum of the battle with an enormous overhand proper.
Sterling was surprised as he hit the canvas, and was despatched again down from a vicious low kick seconds later.
It was simply as intense within the second, with Sterling pushing exhausting for a takedown. Aljo regarded clean and relaxed within the early phases of the primary spherical, however was placing extra effort into each transfer within the second and third.
In the meantime, Yan was as affected person and calculated as ever, and commenced taking extra management within the third.
Simply because it was starting to look like a formality, Yan uncorked a brutal unlawful knee to Sterling’s head. Sterling was grounded on the time, with Yan driving his knee straight into his head.
Sterling was dazed and remained on his again for nicely over three minutes.
“For his personal well being and security, this ought to be known as,” Rogan mentioned. “Aljamain’s a tricky man. If he may rise up, he would rise up. This ought to be known as. Name this battle.”
Smith was left with no different selection however to name the battle off, awarding Sterling a win by disqualification.