UFC books Aljamain Sterling – Petr Yan 2

Daniel Cunningham
Feb 17, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Jimmie Rivera (red gloves) and Aljamain Sterling (blue gloves) fight during their bantamweight bout during UFC Fight Night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Sterling won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC has finalized the rematch we’ve been waiting for, for the bantamweight championship. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that Aljamain Sterling (20-3) will be defending his title against the interim champion Petr Yan (16-2).

The fight was confirmed by Dana White and it will take place at UFC 272 on March 5th. It was a big night for the promotion which also announced the Alexander Volkanovski – Max Holloway trilogy for UFC 272. For Sterling, this will be his chance to prove his legitimacy.

Let’s be completely honest, Aljamain Sterling didn’t truly win the UFC bantamweight title. It was given to him after he was hit with an illegal strike by Petr Yan. These two met back at UFC 259 last March. Yan was completely dominating Sterling throughout the fight.

However, Sterling was hit with a flush illegal knee and couldn’t continue. By disqualifying Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling was awarded the title. Now let me be clear, Aljamain Sterling deserves all the credit in the world for his wins that led him to that title shot at UFC 259.

His performance against Cory Sandhagen was truly something special. However, I will not look at his title reign as legitimate until he truly defeats Petr Yan. In reality, nobody looks at Sterling as the legit champion. He gets his opportunity to prove that he is at UFC 272.

Yan’s chance to regain undisputed UFC gold

As mentioned above, Petr Yan was completely dominating Aljamain Sterling when they fought. He dropped Sterling a number of times and if he hadn’t thrown that illegal knee, he was going to walk to either a decision win or a stoppage victory.

However, he did throw that illegal strike and his UFC title was taken away. Originally, Yan and Sterling were supposed to run things back at UFC 267. However, Sterling wasn’t medically cleared to compete due to a neck surgery and the fight was called off.

Yan ended up fighting Cory Sandhagen instead and was incredibly impressive on his way to winning the interim title. Now, Yan will get his chance to regain the title that many don’t believe he truly lost. Should be a good one on March 5th.