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LI’s Aljamain Sterling unifies belt after split decision win over Petr Yan

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He called it.

Uniondale’s Aljamain Sterling unifies the UFC Bantamweight title after defeating Petr Yan by split decision at UFC 273 Saturday night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.

Sterling, who had impressive second and third rounds by controlling the ground, was awarded the win after the judges scored the match 48-47, 47-48, 48-47 in his favor.

This was a rematch between the two, who have had bad blood and have been exchanging heated messages online ahead of the fight.

Sterling won the original title against Yan via a DQ victory in March 2021. He then needed lengthly recovery from neck surgery following the fight. Yan went on to become the interim title holder after beating Cory Sandhagen last October.

Leading up to the rematch, Sterling was a major betting underdog (+340).

“I know I came in here very highly doubted, people wrote me off after my last performance, but I told you guys that was a big hiccup,” he told announcer Joe Rogan in his post fight interview.

The Long Islander, now 21-3, called out the division’s No. 2 ranked fighter TJ Dillashaw (18-4) for his next opponent.

“[Dillashaw] you’re about to be one-and-done,” Sterling, in his post fight interview, yelled to Dillashaw who was in attendance of UFC 273.

Top: Aljamain Sterling following his title victory over Petr Yan. (Credit: Sterling’s Twitter page)