Clarity at 135lbs once again. Uniondale native, Aljamain Sterling successfully unifies the UFC bantamweight titles with a close, thin split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) victory over interim titleholder, Petr Yan in the co-main event of UFC 273.
Starting brightly against Dudinka native, Yan, Aljamain Sterling asserted a much more patient display against the interim titleholder — and managed to take the frame on the two of three judge’s scorecards, leading to his split judging victory.
Turning in two dominant frames, particularly the second from then on out — Sterling took the back and amassed over three minutes of ground control against Yan in the second and third frames — landing two successful takedowns from a whopping 22 attempts over the course of five gruelling rounds.
Giving up the fourth and fifth frames to a reinvigorated Yan, Sterling managed to score a split decision victory over his champion counterpart — successfully unifying the bantamweight crowns, before calling for a title defense against former two-time division best, T.J. Dillashaw who was in attendance at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Claiming that he had landed round wins in one, two, four, and five — Yan called for a third fight with Sterlign in the immediate future off the back of his second UFC loss.