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“I just made a big mistake and paid for it” Petr Yan apologizes for illegal knee strike following disqualification loss over Aljamain Sterling

Petr Yan

Petr Yan has posted an apology tweet to his bantamweight rival Aljamain Sterling for hurting him with the illegal knee strike at the UFC 259. Defending Champion Yan lost his fight due to the illegal shot in round four.

The Russian drove a keen into the American’s head while he was on the knee after a failed takedown. That was a big mistake by Yan. “I just made a big mistake and paid for it,” said Petr Yan on his Twitter account. However, the newly crowned champ seemed to hurt as he was lying after taking the knee from his opponent. With that in mind, Petr Yan also wished a quick recovery to Sterling and also acknowledged that the knee was unintentional. “I apologize and wish speedy recovery to @funkmasterMMA. I didn’t mean to throw an illegal strike,” he wrote on Twitter.

However, Yan was phenomenal throughout the fight and he was ahead in points too. With the one round left, the 28-year-old had a good prospect to win. Everything has changed after the unfortunate incident. The Knee landed right on The Funkmaster’s temple and left him badly concussed. Later he was unable to continue the fight and the referee put a halt. The next thing we know the top-ranked UFC bantamweight fighter won the Bantamweight title as the referee disqualified the Russian.

Petr Yan of Russia delivers an illegal knee against Aljamain Sterling

Petr Yan of Russia delivers an illegal knee against Aljamain Sterling in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Why did Petr Yan hit Aljamain Sterling with an illegal knee?

From the commentary box, Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan tried to understand the situation and Khabib Nurmagomedov told them he heard from Yan’s corner “telling him to kick him while Sterling was downed.” Further, when they replayed the footage, it seemed Khabib appeared to be right. 

However, Petr Yan said to Phil Murphy, he did not hear anything from his corner about throwing any illegal knees. He explained, “pre-fight instructions were so focused on the hands of a ground opponent, he didn’t check Sterling’s knee. He assumed the knee was raised.” 

Whatever be the reason, Petr Yan will remember this fight for the rest of his life. He was so close, yet lost due to his silly mistake. 


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