The UFC 273 pre-fight press conference went down today (Thurs., April 7, 2022), leaving combat sports fans in Jacksonville, Fla., excited for the weekend’s action.
Undisputed Bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling, returns to defend his crown for the first time when rematching the man he won it against, interim titleholder Petr Yan. Unfortunately for Sterling and Yan, the title didn’t change hands in typical fashion in their first encounter.
In the fourth round of their five-round affair, Yan connected clean with a knee to Sterling’s head while he was clearly down. The foul left “Funkmaster” unable to continue and resulted in a disqualification win in his favor. Sterling has played off the incident since it happened and continued to do so when wearing a Jacksonville Jaguars NFL helmet to the pre-fight presser.
“I had to be prepared coming to the press conference,” Sterling explained. “You never know what a guy like Petr Yan might do, what this guy might be capable of. Just had to come well prepared in case he decides to throw something illegal.
“I finally get to shut this motherf—ker up and it’s going to be so sweet,” he continued. “I guarantee everybody in here is gonna be cheering then all the sudden they’re back on the bandwagon. That’s just the way the fans are.”
The beef between the two has certainly intensified over time, exchanging numerous words on social media. Earlier in the fight week, Yan commented that if he ran into Sterling’s team on fight week, it was “on sight.”
“No Mercy” clarified his words while still taking jabs at Sterling’s teammates, Al Iaquinta and Merab Dvalishvili.
“Here are the real fans, those who know who is the real champion,” Yan said. “As for the team [comment], I just made a joke. I’m not gonna jeopardize the fight before.
“I saw his team, one guy’s a realtor and the other is just a ginger who talks a lot,” Yan concluded.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 273 fight card on fight night, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
For more news and notes on UFC 273 be sure to visit our comprehensive event archive right here. For the updated, revised, and finalized “Volkanovski vs. ‘The Korean Zombie” fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here.