Petr Yan clarifies why he threw an illegal knee on Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259

Petr Yan lost his bantamweight championship at UFC 259
Petr Yan lost his bantamweight championship at UFC 259

Petr Yan's highly-anticipated clash against Aljamain Sterling had an anticlimactic end. The Russian stung 'Funk Master' with a brutal knee while the latter had his knees placed on the canvas, suggesting that he was grounded.

According to Petr Yan, he didn't pay attention to Sterling's knee.

'No Mercy' said that pre-fight instructions largely revolved around how he was not supposed to land a knee when the hands of his opponent were fixed onto the mat. This, in turn, drove Yan's attention away from the rule that prohibits a fighter from landing a knee at the time when his opponent's knee is placed on the ground.

Petr Yan was ultimately disqualified, which caused him to lose the bantamweight championship after his knee was ruled illegal and intentional.

Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed Petr Yan's corner advice him to throw a knee

During Aljamain Sterling's post-fight interview, UFC commentator Joe Rogan revealed that Khabib Nurmagomedov said Petr Yan's corner suggested him to land the illegal knee.

The UFC lightweight champion, who understands Russian, said Yan had asked his corner whether he should throw a knee. Yan, however, disregarded Nurmagomedov's claim and said that he was not instructed to do so.

Petr Yan has now succumbed to his first loss in the UFC by way of disqualification. The 28-year-old made his UFC debut in 2018. He was riding a 10-fight win streak ahead of the title clash at UFC 259.

It is likely that Yan will soon be contending in a rematch against Sterling when the Funk Master manages to heal himself. The brutal blow Sterling received to his head will most certainly keep him out of action for a fair period of time, and possibly face a medical suspension too.

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Edited by Anirban Banerjee