Petr Yan lost the UFC bantamweight championship on Saturday night after illegally kneeing Aljamain Sterling while he was down on one knee.
The knee was not only deemed illegal, it was ruled intentional, which meant that Yan was disqualified. Sterling became the new bantamweight titleholder, but not at all in the way that he wanted.
Shortly after UFC 259 concluded, Yan issued a statement of apology on Twitter and also took to the UFC 259 post-fight press conference to reflect on the fight.
"I apologize and wish speedy recovery to (Sterling). I didn’t mean to throw an illegal strike, I just made a big mistake and paid for it," he wrote.
Though Sterling was transported to the hospital to get checked out, he issued his own statement on 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!"
With both men on board to run the fight back, UFC president Dana White was also agreeable, saying that he absolutely intends to book the rematch as soon as possible.
Petr Yan reflects on illegal knee, hopes for quick rematch
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