Aljamain Sterling is still the UFC bantamweight champion.
In the UFC 273 co-headliner, Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) defeated former champion and rival Petr Yan (16-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) by split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) to retain his title. The bout took place at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.
Proving the critics wrong, Sterling beat Yan as a heavy underdog to retain his UFC bantamweight championship. With the victory, he extended his winning streak to seven.
For Yan, the defeat is the first of his career to come without mass controversy. With his UFC 259 disqualification aside, Yan’s only other loss came under the ACB banner in 2016 – a controversial split decision defeat to now-Bellator bantamweight contender Magomed Magomedov.
The first meeting between Sterling and Yan took place at UFC 259 in March 2021. After a successful first round for Sterling, the tempo shifted in Yan’s favor. That, up until Yan landed an illegal knee on Sterling and was disqualified as a result. Sterling won the title in unusual fashion and was ridiculed and criticized by some viewers for months thereafter.
Aljamain Sterling is leaving Jacksonville with the BW belt 🏆
[ @FunkMasterMMA | #UFC273 ] pic.twitter.com/eynrozrTLQ
— UFC (@ufc) April 10, 2022
Up-to-the-minute UFC 273 results:
Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
Khamzat Chimaev def. Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mackenzie Dern def. Tecia Torres via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mark Madsen def. Vinc Pichel via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Ian Garry def. Darian Weeks via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Anthony Hernandez def. Josh Fremd via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Raquel Pennington def. Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mike Malott def. Mickey Gall via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:41
Aleksei Oleinik def. Jared Vanderaa via submission (neck crank) – Round 1, 3:39
Piera Rodriguez def. Kay Hansen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Julio Arce def. Daniel Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)