An illegal knee cost Petr Yan his UFC bantamweight title last night (Sat., Mar. 6, 2021) at UFC 259 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, as the Russian champion landed a strike on Aljamain Sterling in the fourth round that stopped the fight.
Sterling was in control in the early going with constant pressure, leg kicks, flying knees, and hooks. Yan waited patiently until he unloaded a massive right hand that knocked “Funk Master” down. Sterling gained back some momentum early into the second before having his takedown attempts stuffed along the cage by Yan.
Yan really started to take control in the third as “Funk Master” began showing signs of serious fatigue. The champion was able to push Sterling over to the ground and blocked everything that Sterling returned. Sterling continued to tire into the fourth as Yan started to hit him with precise shots. Unfortunately, Yan ended up landing an illegal knee as Sterling had one knee on the ground. The referee had warned Yan before the strike of Sterling’s position, but the champion still threw it.
In a weird turn of events Sterling ends up winning the UFC bantamweight title by way of a Yan disqualification.
Check out the full fight video highlights below courtesy of UFC/ESPN:
For complete UFC 259 results and coverage click here.