Aljamain Sterling was named the UFC bantamweight champion after Petr Yan was disqualified for hitting Sterling with an illegal knee to the head in the fourth round, Saturday night, at UFC 259 in Las Vegas.
“Everything I worked for man to this point and to fucking have the fight go like that. I thought the fight was very close. I thought I was down two rounds. Not the way I wanted to win,” Sterling said after the fight. “I just took the belt off. I was trying to continue being all fucked up. I was in bad shape. It would have been ego taking over.”
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“I was in bad shape,” Sterling added. “The ref told me I was down. It’s fucking bullshit.”
Prior to Saturday night, no UFC belt had ever been won by disqualification. Regardless, it seemed definitive that the knee was an illegal move.
After the fight, Sterling took to Twitter to comment on the decision and declare that there will be a rematch: “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!”