By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Former champion Petr Yan hit Sterling with an illegal knee strike when Sterling was down. This led Yan to be disqualified.
After being hit with the illegal knee strike, Sterling was down on the mat. He also said that he had blurred vision.
He needed help to stand. Once Bruce Buffer announced Sterling as the champion, Sterling threw down the belt and cried in the Octagon.
UFC medical personnel are going to look over Sterling. He could have suffered a concussion due to the illegal strike.
UFC broadcaster Jon Anik said that this was the first time that an incident like this happened in a title bout. Referee Mark Smith determined that the strike was intentional, which resulted in the disqualification.
Sterling improved to 20-3 with the controversial win. The New York native has won six straight bouts.
This is Yan’s second loss in his career. This is also his first loss in the UFC.
His first loss came to Magomed Magomedov on March 26, 2016, in Moscow, Russia. Yan lost to Magomedov by a split decision.
The UFC will attempt to run this back in the future. Before the illegal strike stoppage, Yan led on two judges’ cards, while Sterling led on one.
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