Back in March, Sterling challenged Petr Yan for the UFC bantamweight title. Sterling won the gold via disqualification after Yan delivered an illegal knee to the head of a downed Sterling. “The Funk Master” couldn’t continue and was awarded the win.
Speaking to UFC Russia, Nurmagomedov said he wouldn’t want to win a title that way.
“Well, I would not prefer to become a champion the way [Aljamain] Sterling did. I think he understands it, and his people do, but they try to support him, and I understand them. I would not like to be the champion who almost lost and won his belt just because his opponent broke the rules. I don’t want to judge anyone, but I would not (want) things to be this way.”
Nurmagomedov then turned his attention to Yan. “The Eagle” said Yan made a costly error but feels he will get the championship back.
“Speaking about Yan, yes, he made a huge mistake. It cost him the belt. Anyway, if Petr properly does his homework, he will benefit a lot from this. First of all, he needs to continue his training process and to stay hungry and focused. I think he will be given a fight this year, or even a rematch, and he deserves it. Anyways, I think he needs it, and it will help him a lot. I hope he finds a way to use it for his own advantage. We will see it when he gets a rematch and will take the belt. I think that’s the way it should be. Just like in a good Turkish TV show, there is always a happy end.”
Sterling has been recovering from neck surgery. He’s hoping to make his return at the end of the year.
What are your thoughts on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s comments on Aljamain Sterling’s bantamweight title win?