Petr Yan
No Mercy

Russia

Gets bantamweight title rematch
BantamweightUFC
August 3, 2021
Yan (15-2-0) is scheduled to face Aljamain Sterling (20-3-0) in a bantamweight title fight Oct. 30 at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Yan and Sterling will get together for a rematch on Fight Island after their matchup at UFC 259 ended in the fourth round, when Yan was disqualified following an illegal knee to Sterling's head. Though Yan surrendered his title belt in the fight, he'll have a chance to win it back four months later. The loss to Sterling was Yan's first since March 2016.
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Loses belt via DQ
BantamweightUFC
March 6, 2021
Yan lost his UFC Bantamweight Championship to Aljamain Sterling via disqualification (illegal knee) on Saturday at 4:29 of Round 4 at UFC 259 in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
It's the biggest mistake you can make in this sport in the biggest spot. Yan was on cruise control late in Round 4 and apparently well on his way to a successful title defense on the strength of excellent counter punching and elite takedown defense. Then it fell apart. Sterling had both knees on the mat and was clearly a grounded fighter, and Yan unloaded a vicious knee to the face that walloped Aljo into next year. The biggest issue here -- other than the blatant and intentional foul -- was the fact referee Mark Smith said just seconds earlier that Sterling was down and not to hit him. Now you run into the discussion as to whether or not Yan -- who speaks limited English -- understood the directions. Regardless, he is responsible for his actions. Yan stated after the bout that his pre-fight instructions were to focus on the hands of a grounded opponent, and thus he didn't check Sterling's knees. It might very well be true, but that's not an acceptable explanation and doesn't absolve Yan of his actions. Some people may be upset that a title changed hands via DQ for the first time in UFC history, but it was the correct call. The only saving grace for Yan is that the UFC will have no choice but to run this back immediately. Yan looked like the better fighter on Saturday before the fiasco came to an end.
Fight against Sterling rescheduled
BantamweightUFC
January 7, 2021
Yan will take on Aljamain Sterling in a bantamweight matchup as a title fight at UFC 259 on March 6, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Yan was initially slated to face Sterling in December, but the fight will be rescheduled as one of three championship matchups at UFC 259. Yan will make his first title defense after he became the undisputed UFC Bantamweight Champion when he defeated Jose Aldo via TKO (punches) at UFC 251 in July. Sterling is coming off the best performance of his career in June, defeating Cory Sandhagen via submission (rear-naked choke) at UFC 250. The fighters are even in reach, but Sterling carries an edge in height.
Fight called off
BantamweightUFC
November 22, 2020
Yan will no longer face Aljamain Sterling at UFC 256 on Dec. 12, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Yan was slated to defend his bantamweight title in December, but the fight was scrapped from the UFC 256 card due to personal reasons on Yan's end. The promotion is reportedly seeking to reschedule the fight for a later date, but neither fighter will enter the Octagon on Dec. 12.
Targeted for December fight
BantamweightUFC
October 14, 2020
Yan is being targeted to take on Aljamain Sterling in a bantamweight matchup as the co-main event at a UFC event Dec. 12, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Although the contracts haven't yet been officially signed, Yan is unsurprisingly in line to make his first title defense against Sterling. Yan looked dominant in July as he became the undisputed UFC Bantamweight Champion with a victory over Jose Aldo via TKO (punches) at UFC 251. Sterling has elite striking defense, and he's coming off the best performance of his career when he defeated Cory Sandhagen via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 1 of UFC 250 in June. The fighters are even in height, but Sterling has an advantage in reach.
Next opponent lined up
BantamweightUFC
August 24, 2020
Yan is line to make his first title defense against Aljamain Sterling according to UFC President Dana White, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
White had been previously non-committal on the possibility of Yan facing off with Sterling, but he finally acknowledged the UFC's plans in his post-fight press conference last Saturday night. Yan looked tremendous when gaining the vacant belt against Jose Aldo on Fight Island this past July, but Sterling is an entirely different test, and the odds would presumably be much closer for this proposed matchup. Yan may have the slight edge in striking volume over a shorter sample size, but Sterling has superior striking defense and higher takedown volume. Sterling has a four-inch reach advantage, but Yan would presumably look to close the distance to negate that and take advantage of Sterling's sub-par 51 percent takedown defense. Both are complete martial artists more than deserving of this opportunity.