Aljamain Sterling & Demetrious Johnson Clash Over UFC 259 DQ Finish

Newly crowned UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has called out former UFC great Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson for his take on Petr Yan’s disqualifying knee at UFC 259.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the knee felt ’round the world that disqualified Petr Yan and lost him the bantamweight title. During Yan’s defense against Sterling, “The Funkmaster” had a knee on the mat and was thus considered a downed opponent according to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. This did not prevent Yan from blasting Sterling with a knee that rendered Sterling unable to continue in the determination of the doctor, resulting in the bout being ruled a disqualification. 

Among those who have voiced an opinion on this trending topic is former UFC flyweight champion and current ONE Championship athlete Demetrious Johnson, who weighed in with an interesting take immediately following the bout.

“Here’s the thing, you can’t stall the fight by sitting on your knees. Knees to a grounded opponent should be allowed!”

Johnson then shared the following ONE Championship video of himself in a similar position as Yan was in. Johnson kneed the opponent and followed it up with a guillotine.

Aljamain Sterling Issues Fired-Up Response To Johnson

Aljamain Sterling has been making the media rounds since UFC 259 and has unquestionably been the hottest interview in the sport this week. Among the topics that Sterling has been tackling is the reaction from critics who are inside the industry, such as fighters and media members. Sterling saw Johnson’s accusations of “stalling,” and he decided to firmly address and counter Mighty Mouse’s argument. 

“The other guy, Mighty Mouse. Him talking, giving his input. It’s like, dude, you’re talking about you shouldn’t be able to stall a fight, this isn’t ONE FC Championship,” Sterling told MMA Fighting. “We’re in the UFC. You know the rules. You know you wouldn’t knee a downed opponent. So why are you making it sound like there should be an excuse? You shouldn’t be able to stall a fight? So what should he do? I would like to know from Mighty Mouse what should be allowed then? 

Petr Yan loses title by DQ with crazy illegal knee on Aljamain Sterling at  UFC 259 - Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals his corner told him to do it
The Knee Felt ‘Round the World. Credit: Getty Images

“Because if it’s not ONE FC rules and this is within the rules that I can stay down there to safely get up, that’s not stalling the fight. That’s me trying to safely get up. I’m not gonna just get up and get blasted in the face, which ended up happening anyway. But you would think someone with his type of experience would understand that. But I guess (because) he’s been fighting for ONE FC for so long he thinks that it should just be accepted all across the board.”

In point of fact, Sterling was down for precisely seven seconds before the knee connected. During this time, Yan was pressing down on Sterling’s head, thus restricting free movement. It’s difficult to interpret this as stalling on Sterling’s part, so it’s possible that Johnson was referring to why knees to a downed opponent should be legal in a general sense and that this dispute is all just a misunderstanding.

A rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan is expected to take place as soon as both men are prepared to make it happen. Hopefully, this rematch will provide a more definitive outcome sans all the opinions and debate.

What do you make of Demetrious Johnson’s comments and Aljamain Sterling’s response to them?

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