Sterling (20-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) dethroned Yan to capture the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 259 when an illegal knee rendered him unable to continue. After a solid start by Sterling, Yan rallied and started to seriously turn the tide before striking Sterling with an illegal knee in Round 4.
Based off of the first fight, Faber says Sterling can’t come at Yan (16-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) with the same approach if he wants to retain his title in their rematch at UFC 273 in April.
“Aljamain had to learn something out of that last fight,” Faber said in an interview with The Schmo. “I mean, it was kind of slipping away from him towards the end there, and Yan has not taken his foot off the pedal. Aljo is not taking his foot off the pedal, but I think in the last showing, Yan was the better fighter. Aljo needs to do something different.
“He wasn’t getting it done the first time, he was kind of getting outwrestled a little bit, and I think Yan’s wrestling has gotten a little bit better. So I think Aljo is going to try and go for an awkward standup style and maybe find some takedowns at choice points. Yan is definitely the favorite, in my opinion.”
Currently semi-retired, Faber is glad he got to compete against interim bantamweight champ Yan, whose career has taken off since knocking Faber out at UFC 245 in 2019.
“It’s cool to know, and I knew going into that fight, it was going to be a very tough fight,” Faber said. “I watched the guy. I met the guy. I knew that he was on a trajectory to do what he’s doing, but I’m glad I got to fight him.”
Twitter reacts to Aljamain Sterling’s DQ win to take title from Petr Yan at UFC 259