ABU DHABI — Petr Yan hasn’t forgotten the strike that cost him his UFC title.
At Wednesday’s UFC 267 open workouts, the former bantamweight champion closed out his session with a playful reenactment of the illegal knee that led to his disqualification loss against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 in March.
Watch the clip above.
Clearly joking around, Yan launched a flying knee at the head of his indisputably grounded training partner, resulting in a “knockout” and Yan raising his arms in victory.
Of course, that wasn’t the case when the Yan fought Sterling at UFC APEX in Las Vegas seven months ago. That bout, which Yan led on two of the three scorecards after three rounds, was halted in the fourth after Yan landed a knee to the head of a grounded Sterling. Referee Mark Smith immediately called for a pause to the bout and after review, it was determined that Yan would be disqualified, resulting in him forfeiting the UFC bantamweight championship to Sterling.
With Sterling recuperating from neck surgery, Yan fights Cory Sandhagen this Saturday for an interim bantamweight title in Saturday’s co-main event.
Sterling later responded to footage of Yan’s workout on Twitter, writing, “Hilarious! Don’t lose another belt!”
Hilarious! Don’t lose another belt! https://t.co/L58mlEIV8G— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) October 27, 2021
In a reply to Yan on Instagram, Sterling added, “Just try to win so we can fight again sooner rather than later.”