Petr Yan committed a terrible mistake in his fight against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 that cost him the UFC title.
In the fourth round , Yan, who appeared to be winning the fight up that point, hit Sterling with an illegal knee while Sterling was still on the ground.
Update: According to Khabib Nurmagomedov Yan’s coaches gave him the go ahead to throw the knee while Sterling was still on the ground.
Khabib (to DC) says Yan was given the call to throw the kick in the moment from the coaches.
A bad understanding of the rules on all parties.
Fact remains, intentional foul. #UFC259
— Gabriel Gonzalez (@DoubleGonTV) March 7, 2021
The fight was called by the doctor inside the cage because Sterling couldn’t continue.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 7, 2021
Yan was disqualified due to the knee and Sterling was presented the UFC championship belt.
— ESPN (@espn) March 7, 2021
Update: Yan was ahead on the scorecards before the illegal knee.
Yan was ahead 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 going into the fourth round. #UFC259
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) March 7, 2021
Sterling went on to release a statement after the fight.
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
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) March 7, 2021
Yan apologized for the illegal knee on Twitter.