Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
After their first meeting ended in a controversial disqualification win for Sterling, who captured the belt, “Funkmaster” won the fight on two of three judges’ scorecards, earning a pair of 48-47 tallies against one for Yan by the same mark.
Check out the official scorecard below, courtesy of the UFC.
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Notable on the three judges’ scorecards is the absence of 10-8 scores, which many MMA observers debated after Sterling’s performance in Rounds 2 and 3. In both frames, the champion dominated position for the majority of the rounds, though the damage he did was largely limited to short punches and the squeeze of his legs as he held Yan in a body triangle.
Judges Eliseo Rodriguez and Sal D’Amato both credited Sterling with the first three rounds, awarding 10-9 scores while scoring Round 4 and Round 5 for Yan by the same tally. Christopher Lee, the judge dissenting for Yan, gave the Russian Rounds 1, 4 and 5 by 10-9 scores and gave Sterling Round 2 and Round 3 by the same tally.
Sterling unified the bantamweight title and improved his record to 21-3 after an extended layoff due to a lingering neck injury that required surgery. He has won his past seven bouts, while Yan drops to 1-2 in his past three after seven straight UFC wins.