Aljamain Sterling explained why his second fight with Petr Yan was razor-close on the judges' scorecards

In anticipation of his bantamweight brawl against Dillashaw later this month, Aljamain Sterling took the time to answer some questions and explain why his most recent fight against Petr Yan was razor-close on the judges’ scorecards.

‘Funk Master’ was comfortably cruising through his second clash against Petr Yan, proving all the doubters wrong with a stellar display in the early rounds. The Russian picked up the pace and began taking over the later rounds, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough to get the job done and the American remained the 135lb king.

While discussing his upcoming bout, Aljamain Sterling insisted that he must do things differently against T.J. Dillashaw from his fight with Petr Yan. The key is to remember not to ease off if he’s winning the early rounds:

“Just focusing for 25 minutes and that’s going to be the main difference, not giving him an opportunity. Even in the last fight, I think I kind of relaxed a little bit, took my foot off the gas because I felt that I was up three rounds to zero against Yan. I kind of hung around a bit and gave away the fourth and fifth round… I just wanted to win [fight against Petr Yan], I thought I locked it up, I wanted to play it safe, this one I got a little bit more urgency and I don’t wanna leave any doubt.”

Petr Yan is preparing to take on the unique Sean O’Malley on October 22. Yan hopes to spearhead his way back into another shot at UFC gold in the bantamweight division.

When is Aljamain Sterling’s next title defense?

As he previously claimed, Aljamain Sterling doesn’t want to take his foot off the gas in his next outing. That will be a tough task coming up against T.J. Dillashaw in the co-main event of UFC 280.

The 36-year-old challenger is thought by many to have a much more polished stand-up. Despite his NCAA Division I wrestling honors, he may not be as well-versed on the ground in MMA as the bantamweight champion.

Both Sterling and Dillashaw will collide in the center of the cage in two weeks’ time. The bout will shape how the 135lb division looks with a handful of capable contenders all waiting in the wings for a potential title shot.

Check out what Aljamain Sterling said about his former and future opponents in the video below.

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