At UFC 273 next month, Petr Yan will attempt to reclaim the UFC bantamweight title when he goes head to head with Aljamain Sterling. Back at UFC 259 last year, the two men met with Yan heading into the bout as the champion.
He didn’t leave that way, though, as an illegal knee led to a disqualification win for Sterling. As per the rulebook, ‘Funk Master’ was awarded the 135-pound belt alongside the victory.
The anti-climactic nature of the fight led many to believe it was only a matter of time before the rematch was booked. It was supposed to happen at UFC 267, but an injury to Sterling forced the UFC to replace the champ with top contender Cory Sandhagen.
Yan won the fight, and the interim strap, setting him on a collision course with Aljamain.
After the reigning king of the division taunted Yan on Twitter, the Russian sensation hit back with an insult that’d be enough to send shivers down the spine of many at bantamweight.
“At least I didn’t loose my dignity like you. I can envision yourself crying after our next fight again. I will beat the living s*** out of you dog. Looking forward to your healing process”
With seven knockouts to his name already, you’d have to think Yan fancies his chances on the feet in Jacksonville.
Is Sterling back to 100%?
Given that he underwent neck surgery last year, it’s hard to tell where Aljamain Sterling is at in terms of his recovery – as well as how long he’s got left in the sport as a whole.
He seems to be fit and healthy in the weeks leading up to this contest but in a rare instance, he’s likely going to be the underdog for this title showdown.
That isn’t going to bother an elite athlete like him but it’s worth noting how much talk there’s been in the build-up to this one.
Whether you believe it’s real or not, there’s no denying that there’s something bubbling under the surface with this pair.