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Video: Aljamain Sterling has surprise encounter with Petr Yan ahead of UFC 280 — ‘Trilogy’

UFC 280 is expected to be a big night for the bantamweight division.

Reigning champion Aljamain Sterling will defend his 135-pound strap against former kingpin TJ Dillashaw in the co-main event. Elsewhere on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card, former champion and “Funk Master’s” longtime rival, Petr Yan, will look to rid the weight class of “Sugar” Sean O’Malley.

Sterling and Yan came face-to-face while on location in Dubai and despite a history of back-and-forth trash talk (sample here), the world’s top two bantamweights kept things rather respectful (some are even calling it “wholesome”) during their brief encounter, shaking hands before going on their separate ways.

What a difference a few months makes.

“Ready to fly 13 hours so I can hug Dillaroids’ back for 25 minutes,” Sterling wrote on Twitter. “It’s gonna be so sick, bruv! know what my team and I know and that’s all that matters. It’ll be a good fight and I know Needleshaw will be well prepared. Someone will be right and someone will be wrong.”

Sterling holds two victories over Yan, a disqualification win at UFC 259 followed by a split decision nod at UFC 273. A championship trilogy is certainly possible but would require wins for both “Funk Master” and “No Mercy” on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi, which will no doubt send them back into kill mode.

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