Aljamain Sterling Silences the Noise at UFC 273, Beats Petr Yan

Aljamain Sterling

Getty UFC bantamweight Aljamain Sterling.

Aljamain Sterling proved on Saturday night that he is the rightful owner of the undisputed UFC bantamweight title after beating Petr Yan.

The two 135-pound fighters went to war during the UFC 273 co-main event on April 9 in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a rematch over a year in the making. The two foes met at UFC 259 in March 2021 when “No Mercy” was the bantamweight champion, but he dropped the belt to Sterling after he hit the American with an illegal knee, losing via disqualification.

Yan bounced back at UFC 267 in October 2021 by winning the interim strap against Cory Sandhagen while Sterling recovered from neck surgery. Sterling and Yan finally met again this weekend, and once again the “Funk Master” got his hand raised.

Many believed that Sterling earning the title by disqualification was illegitimate. And he had the chance to earn the belt the traditional way, something he did on Saturday night.

The championship battle went all five rounds, with both men finding success inside the Octagon. Most notably, Sterling controlled the second and third rounds while he tried to cinch in a rear-naked choke. The other three rounds were back and forth, and in the end, the judges gave the nod to Sterling via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47).

With the victory, the Funk Master (21-3) extended his win streak to six and he cemented himself as the king of the division. On the other end, Yan suffered his second defeat to Sterling and his professional mixed martial arts record fell to 16-3.

It’s unclear if Yan will receive another crack at Sterling in the future, but for now, the Funk Master has won the rivalry.


Sterling vs. Yan Reactions

Here are some of the best Twitter reactions to Sterling’s UFC 273 win:

Former 135-pound champion TJ Dillashaw, who Sterling called out after the fight, tweeted along with the middle-finger emoji: “Well, well… congrats to @funkmasterMMA, COME GET SOME!”

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou tweeted: “Aljo is a LEGIT CHAMPION. Now everyone should wrap that around their mind.”

Former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo tweeted: “And you guys think these guys are at my level. Anyways congrats @funkmasterMMA you listen to my plan.”

TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter tweeted: “Whether you agree with the decision or not, Sterling was able to get Yan’s back in two consecutive rounds and neutralize him. We’ve never seen anyone do that to Yan. The first round was SO close, I personally had it for Yan, but you have to give Sterling his due. He earned this.”

MMA analyst Karyn Bryant wrote: “Split decision is gonna really fire up those @funkmasterMMA haters now… Congrats Champ! Tough fight, gritty win!”

MMA Junkie’s Nolan King tweeted: “If anyone deserves to have a “told ya so” world tour, it’s Aljamain Sterling. He just proved one metric ton of s***-talkers incorrect.”


Sterling Called Out TJ Dillashaw After Beating Yan

During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan inside the Octagon, Sterling took the opportunity to challenge TJ Dillashaw, the former bantamweight champion.

He also called Dillashaw “Needleshaw and Pillashaw,” taking a shot at Dillashaw’s two-year ban for testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug EPO.

Dillashaw returned from his suspension in July 2021 and took on top-ranked contender Cory Sandhagen. It was a five-round high-level striking battle and in the end, Dillashaw won via split decision. The American is ranked No. 2 as per the official UFC website, sitting only behind Yan.

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