One Ill-Advised Knee Has Thrown Petr Yan’s Career Out of Sync

Published by
Sports Illustrated

By Justin Barrasso This moment from 2021 is still haunting his UFC career. SI’s MMA Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes runs every Monday. One errant knee forever changed Petr Yan’s career. Two years ago, Yan had won 15 of his first 16 bouts. He was reigning bantamweight champion, and he defended the belt against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 in March 2021. Yan dominated, and he was on pace to win by unanimous decision when he made the gravest mistake of his career. During the fourth round, with a helpless Sterling on the canvas, Yan drilled him with a blatantly illegal knee to the head. Despite recei…

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