Aljamain Sterling Wants UFC Rematch Against Petr Yan After Controversial DQ Win

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 7, 2021

Aljamain Sterling celebrates after defeating Cody Stamann in their bantamweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 228 on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
Jeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press

Petr Yan lost his UFC Bantamweight Championship belt to challenger Aljamain Sterling after delivering an illegal knee, causing a fourth-round disqualification.

UFC @ufc

That is it. #UFC259 https://t.co/xEyNYSkl9C

Sterling is now the champion, but he appears willing to give Yan a shot at getting his belt back:

Aljamain Sterling @funkmasterMMA

Not the way I ever want to win a fight. It was close, competitive and filled with action. I felt the knee was intentional, especially after the ref announced I was a downed opponent, so I didn’t expect to be hit. Yan is a bad dude! WE WILL DO IT AGAIN! #UFC259

Yan publicly apologized to Sterling for the illegal knee and said it wasn't intentional:

Petr “No Mercy” Yan @PetrYanUFC

I apologize and wish speedy recovery to @funkmasterMMA I didn’t mean to throw an illegal strike, I just made a big mistake and paid for it.

The ex-champ was winning on the official scorecards going into the fourth round, per ESPN's Marc Raimondi:

Marc Raimondi @marc_raimondi

Here is the full scorecard https://t.co/pt2E5wIoNA

The 28-year-old was arguably winning the fourth round, too, landing 32 significant strikes to Sterling's 24 and delivering the round's only takedown, per UFC Stats.

However, Yan will not be going home with the belt following the knee, marking the first time a UFC belt has changed hands because of a disqualification, per ESPN Stats & Info.