After UFC refused to permit faceoffs, Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling must be seperated


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan wanted to do a faceoff at the UFC 273 presser on Thursday, but UFC officials separated them before they got the chance.

Sterling and Yan, respectively the undisputed and interim UFC bantamweight champs, verbally sparred during the 45-minute gathering and wanted to follow in the footsteps of UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski, who demanded and got a staredown with his opponent on Saturday, The Korean Zombie.

Yan marched straight across the press conference stage for Sterling, who waved in his rival. He was stopped by UFC security officials before he could even get his nose to the ground. Two other security officials blocked Sterling’s way as he appeared to jaw at Petr. UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik, playing pinch hitter for an in-transit UFC President Dana White, stood between the bantamweights with a comfortable buffer from the action, and welterweight Gilbert Burns looked on at the encounter with a smile.

Yan and Stewartling co-headline Saturday’s pay-per view event at VyStar Veterans memorial Arena as a title unifier.

Yan appeared to take many of Sterling’s insults in stride, but he promised fans in English, “I kill him on Saturday.” Sterling brought to the presser a Jacksonville Jaguars helmet and his self-penned “MMA Rulebook 4 Dummies,” referencing the controversial outcome of his first fight with Yan, which resulted in a disqualification win when the Russian illegally kneed him in the head. He seemed to enjoy the boos of his fans.

” I finally get to close this motherf ***** down,” Sterling stated. It’s going be so sweet. I guarantee everybody here is going to be cheering and all of a sudden, they’re going to be back on the bandwagon. So that’s the way the fans are, but I’m just glad the fans are going to tune in.”