Sterling has copped considerable criticism since winning the bantamweight strap by disqualification against Yan in March. While Yan has only himself to blame for the DQ, many have chafed at Sterling’s flaunting of the belt on social media, which they feel was attained under illegitimate circumstances.
Now, “The Funkmaster” says he wants to set the record straight against Yan—but only if he has to.
“Technically, I am the champ. If I had it my way, I would be moving on to somebody else,” Sterling said on Sirius XM’s Unlocking The Cage. But this is a fight where there is a lot of unfinished business, so I want to do this one the right way. I want to remove all doubt and really shut this clown up and just show him there are levels, man.”
Since winning the championship, Sterling has engaged in an ongoing war of words with Yan over Twitter and media appearances, having recently stated that his fight with Cory Sandhagen proved a tougher test than his bout with Yan.
The 28-year-old New Yorker is currently recovering from successful surgery on a nagging neck injury sustained in the fight with Yan, and has stated that he’ll be fit again in October.
Aljamain Sterling says Petr Yan “won’t know what hit him” in rematch
Despite ongoing criticism that he’s been ducking Yan, Sterling says he’s supremely confident of making a statement against the Russian in the rematch.
“If that was my worst day and that was the best you could do, I love my chances in the rematch when I’m actually feeling good, and really on, and I can keep that pace from bell to bell. He’s not gonna know what hit him, and he’s not gonna know where I am to even find me to land a counter-shot. So I do think about the paydays, but honestly, I gotta get through this one first, and then go from there, and keep collecting rubies on this bad boy, and remind the world that I didn’t get here by accident.”
What do you think? Will Aljamain Sterling prove his critics wrong in the rematch with Petr Yan?