Morning Report: Aljamain Sterling discusses what went wrong against Petr Yan in their first fight


This weekend, Aljamain Sterling will defend his UFC bantamweight title against Petr Yan in the co-main event of UFC 273. It’s a fight over a year in the making, after the two first met at UFC 259, where Sterling won the title via disqualification when Yan delivered an illegal knee that Sterling was unable to continue after. Even though Sterling admitted Yan won the fight before Yan’s illegal knee, “The Funk Master”, who is a former fighter of Yan, says that Yan made a mistake prior to that.

“I think I messed up the day of the fight,” Sterling said on his YouTube channel. “I had a beautiful morning shake up, 20 minutes strong, hard pace. I felt like my lungs would never get tired, my arms, my muscles, everything felt phenomenal. Then, just not eating the way I normally do right after, not putting the fuel back into my body to actually go a 25 minutes pace for what I put out. The expenditure of energy, it was just way too much for what I put back into my body after having my morning shake out. Anyone who was there that day, they saw, it looked like I was possessed by a demon that morning, so to go from that to what I did that night, was to me, disgraceful, in the sense of that’s not even a glimpse of what I’m capable of. Especially for how hard I worked, it was very disheartening for myself, because I know how much I put into it and I know that’s not even a fraction of what I can do.”

Sterling went on to say that the difference in preparation caused by COVID-19 and the UFC’s safety policies played a major role in why things went sideways during his fight day preparation, something he says won’t be a factor this time.

” It won’t happen again”, Sterling stated. Sterling said that COVID had really disrupted the normal way people do things. He also stated, “It won’t happen again.” We were able to report at a certain time as long as we reported back before that time to take our COVID test, we were good, so I got to do everything the same. Leave, go get food, eat with everybody, all that good stuff. The UFC PI gave me the lunch menu, so I ate only the breakfast. I didn’t eat the lunch and I didn’t eat the dinner, not realizing that I was fighting at 8:30 compared to 4 o’clock, and sometimes even earlier than that, when I normally eat a lot differently. It all comes down to nutrition and numbers at the end. It all comes down to the numbers, nutrition.

” It felt as though I was still losing weight when I entered the cage. I was like, ‘This sucks. It feels like I’m labored right now and I’m trying to get through a weight cut to cut the last few pounds and make weight so I can step on the scale and eat.’ That’s exactly the best way I can describe how I felt that day.”

Over the past year, Sterling has received a tremendous amount of hate from fans for the manner in which he won the title, and from Yan who has repeatedly mocked him as a “fake champion” and “actor.” But with UFC 273 now just a few days away, Sterling has learned from his mistakes and is ready to finally settle his feud with Yan.

“At the end of the day, I take full responsibility for what happened to me because it’s myself ultimately,” Sterling said. “But feeling that type of difference from any other day when you feel like you’re on top of the world and ready to show out, it’s very, very frustrating. It’s been a long year and I can’t wait to get back out there and right the wrong.”

UFC 273 takes place this Saturday at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL.


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UFC 273 Countdown.

The first ever Bellator card, in full.

Israel Adesanya breaks down UFC 273.

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Conor McGregor.

Aljamain Sterling.

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Now this is a damn fight.


Devin Clark (12-6) vs. William Knight (11-3); UFC Vegas 51, April 16.

Andre Fili (21-8) vs. Joanderson Brito (12-3-1); UFC Vegas 53, April 30.

Jan Blachowicz (28-9) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (14-2); UFC Fight Night, May 14.

Katlyn Chookagian (17-4) vs. Amanda Ribas (11-2); UFC Fight Night, May 14.

Allan Nascimento (18-6) vs. Jake Hadley (8-0); UFC Fight Night, May 14.

Phil Hawes (11-3) vs. Deron Winn (7-2); UFC Fight Night, June 18.


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