After 13 months of trash talk, cancellations, and debates, it turns out Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan might not be able to wait one more week to settle their beef.
UFC 259 played host to arguably the most controversial ending to any title fight in UFC history when Aljamain Sterling became the first man to win a world title via disqualification. The cause of the DQ took place when Yan blasted a downed Sterling with an illegal knee and the “FunkMaster” was deemed unfit to continue.
The debate revolved around whether Sterling was truly unable to continue after the knee or if he was milking the opportunity to end the fight on his terms and be granted a rematch at a later date. The cancellations occurred when the fight fell out of the UFC 267 and UFC 272 lineups.
The trash talk? Still being dished out alongside a whole lot of beef. But everything will be settled once and for all this Saturday at UFC 273—that is unless Team Yan and Team Sterling cross paths beforehand says the interim champion.
“If we see his team, we kill every team (member) right now, not Saturday,” was the message Yan delivered to reporters without the need of a translator during a UFC 273 media scrum.
Aljamain Sterling Responds To Yan’s Threat With An Invitation
When it was Aljamain Sterling’s turn to address reporters, he was informed of Yan’s bold words. After laughing it off, the bantamweight champion let it be known that he would not back down should Yan approach with violent energy. In fact, he even went the extra mile by welcoming Yan to his hotel room if the Russian really can’t wait for Saturday’s action.
“I have not seen him. I honestly kinda want to see him just to see what would happen. I mean, I’m calm, cool, collected,” Sterling told reporters during his scrum. “So I go for the energy he’s gonna bring. So if he thinks it’s gonna be on, then I’m ready. I’m more than ready. I’m ready now; I’m ready Saturday.
“So if you really wanna do something, I’m right here. I’m in the same hotel as you. You can find me. If you want, I can give you my room number…so it is what it is.”
Dana White and the UFC brass should take heed of these words from the UFC 273 co-main eventers. Many fans may write these words off as empty pre-fight trash talk, but as Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier proved during a 2014 face-off and, more recently, Jorge Masvidal allegedly proved outside of a Miami steakhouse on Colby Covington, violence could always raise above the voices, especially when professional fighters are involved.
What do you make of Petr Yan’s threat to eradicate Team Sterling should the two teams cross paths prior to UFC 273?