From foes to friends? It appears as though Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan have decided to go down that road — for now.
In Abu Dhabi for their respective fights against T.J. Dillashaw and Sean O’Malley at UFC 280, the pair had a respectful run-in recently. Despite their history, Sterling and Yan were seen conversing briefly and shaking hands before going their separate ways.
You can watch the run-in below, courtesy of Sterling:
Sterling and Yan have shared the Octagon twice. ’No Mercy’ lost the UFC bantamweight championship by disqualification at UFC 259 after kneeing a downed ‘Funk Master’ in the fourth round of their first fight. The ending was controversial, and Yan was adamant Sterling exaggerated his reaction, which led to the disqualification.
Though interested in an immediate rematch, the UFC would have to wait because Sterling would be unable to return so soon following a much-needed neck surgery. With the champion on the sidelines, Yan stayed busy and fought Cory Sandhagen for the interim UFC bantamweight championship at UFC 267 last October. He won by unanimous decision, setting up a unification against Sterling.
A year after their first fight, the pair rematched at UFC 273 this past April. This time, the Serra-Longo Fight Team staple would get the win by split decision. Not everyone agreed with the decision, though.
Should Sterling and Yan defeat their upcoming opponents, perhaps the trilogy the reigning bantamweight champion alluded to can happen.
UFC 280 goes down on Sat., Oct. 22, at the Etihad Arena.