clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Aljamain Sterling feuds with T.J. Dillashaw, Henry Cejudo, and Petr Yan following DQ win at UFC 259

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

UFC 259: Yan v Sterling Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

On Saturday night, UFC 259 was billed as the biggest fight card in some time, featuring UFC three title fights and four UFC champions. Unfortunately, the first of those title fights was was marred by controversy.

The bantamweight title bout which featured reigning champion Petr Yan defending against top contender Aljamain Sterling was well on its way to earning Fight of the Night honors with a competitive, back-and-forth scrap between the two best in the world but in the fourth round as Yan was starting to come on strong, he threw a blatantly illegal knee to the head of the downed Sterling. The knee landed flush to Sterling’s head and given that referee Mark Smith had warned Yan that Sterling was a grounded fighter moments before the knee, the strike was ruled an intentional illegal blow. Ultimately the fight was not allowed to continue and as a result. Aljamain Sterling won the bantamweight championship by disqualification, a first in UFC history.

Immediately following the bout Sterling dropped the belt in the cage and then was interviewed by Joe Rogan where he said he didn’t want to win the title in this fashion and that he and Yan would rematch soon. A few hours later, Sterling reiterated this stance on his social media.

But despite Sterling saying all “the right” things and being in no way responsible for the unfortunate ending of the bout, that did not stop the critics from coming out to attack the new champ, including former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.

Not one to take these slights lying down, Sterling responded in kind to Dillashaw, the champion perhaps most famously known for having to vacate his title after testing positive for EPO.

But Dillashaw wasn’t the only former champion to fire shots at Sterling. Henry Cejudo also was quick to throw stones at the new champ, though he did apologize for doing so shortly afterwards.

“I do want to apologize to Aljamain, I really do. I was a little upset, I was a little mad but at the same time he ended up doing the interview and the Tweets and I saw the pictures of him with the belt and it just rubbed me the wrong way. But at the end of the day it was an illegal strike by Petr “The Ugyy Potato” Yan. That’s just the way the fight goes.”

The photo Cejudo is referring to was posted to Sterling’s teammate Merab Dvalishvili’s social media, showing Sterling holding the title, and Cejudo wasn’t the only one to be upset by this. Petr Yan also was quick to jump on Sterling, to which Sterling had little patience for.

After Yan’s comments, Sterling even went so far as to tease a fight with Cejudo instead of Yan next, something that immediately drew the ire of “No Mercy” and kicked off another round of online beef.

For what it’s worth, UFC President Dana White has said that he intends to book a rematch between Sterling and Yan as soon as possible and Sterling seems ready to run it back, as soon as he’s medically cleared to do so.


Results. Jan Blachowicz, Amanda Nunes, and Aljamain Sterling all took home titles at UFC 259.

And One. Jan Blachowicz: Israel Adesanya will ‘remember me until the end of his life’ for UFC 259 loss.

Apology. Israel Adesanya apologizes to fans after first MMA loss at UFC 259: ‘I’m sorry I let you down’.

DQ. Aljamain Sterling reacts to winning bantamweight title via DQ at UFC 259: ‘That’s not the way I wanted to win’.

Rematch. Dana White believes Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan ending ‘sucked’ at UFC 259, plans on booking rematch as soon as possible.

Beef. Dominick Cruz explains callout of Monster Energy’s Hans Molenkamp; Dana White disapproves.

Gone. Dan Hardy no longer ‘working directly’ with UFC after ‘disagreement’ with employee.


UFC 259 Post Show.

UFC 259 Post-Fight Press Conference.

UFC 260 promo.

Volko getting you hype for his next title defense.

Arlovski not planning to retire.

Media picks for UFC Vegas 21.


Severe MMA. Reviewing all the mayhem at UFC 259.


He should.

Game over.


Ali adding to the fray.


Chess, not checkers.



Reunited and it feels so good!

Safety first.


Manel Kape (15-5) vs. Matheus Nicolau (15-2-1); UFC Fight Night, Mar. 13.

Antonio Carlos Junior (10-5) vs. Tom Lawlor (10-7); PFL 2021 #2, Apr. 29.


I get that the rules aren’t actually unified, but there aren’t that many of them. There is no excuse for any professional, much less a champion, to not know what is legal and illegal in the fight game. Imagine that happening in any other sport.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



Who wins the rematch?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    (276 votes)
  • 77%
    (960 votes)
1236 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting