In what will no doubt go down as one of, if not the single most controversial ending to a fight in UFC history, Aljamain Sterling won the UFC bantamweight championship at UFC 259 following an illegal knee from Petr Yan in the fourth round. Sterling was full of emotion in the immediate aftermath of the fight and stressed how he did not want to win the world championship this way. Yan also issued an apology to Sterling following the incident.
Not long after Sterling’s and Yan’s initial reaction to the situation, the two again began to butt heads on social media, particularly after a photo of Sterling celebrating with his newly won bantamweight championship belt along with friends and family became public.
With the bad blood between Sterling and Yan now higher than ever, Sterling would now have no problem defending the championship belt against someone other than Petr Yan for his first title defense.
“I thought about it a little later and based on the way he did everything, a situation like that where it was intentional, and when something is that blatant, I don’t see how it could be deemed anything else other than fully intentional,” Aljamain Sterling told Yahoo Sports. “I know the fans want the rematch and I want a rematch because we didn’t really have a finish. But I wouldn’t be opposed if they decided to go with somebody else. I wouldn’t care.”
Aljamain Sterling has already recently pitched another opponent for his first title defense: none other than Henry Cejudo. Cejudo announced Monday that he is “coming back,” so that would be the only other opponent that Sterling could possibly face if the UFC were to inconceivably bypass an immediate rematch between Sterling and Yan.
What do you make of Aljamain Sterling’s latest comments about the controversial UFC 259 finish between himself and Petr Yan?