Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Sterling Promises Academy-Award-Winning Performance In Yan Rematch

UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling has made a promise ahead of his unification showdown with rival Petr Yan at UFC 273.

Sterling’s reign atop the 135-pound mountain was forged in controversial fashion at UFC 259 last March. Against Yan, a Russian star who was predicted by many to rule the division for a long time, “Funk Master” emerged with the belt after eating an illegal knee to the head in the fourth round.

A subsequent disqualification jumped Sterling from likely defeat to champion status. While the illegal nature of the blow he sustained is undeniable, many doubted, and continue to criticize, Sterling’s reaction to it and failure to continue.

Some, including fellow UFC peers like Darren Till and Henry Cejudo, even mocked the new champ by suggesting he had delivered an acting performance worthy of an Academy Award.

Having missed out on the ‘Best Actor’ honor to Anthony Hopkins at last April’s Oscars, Sterling is hoping to go one better than public nominee this time around…

Sterling Vows To Outdo Denzel Washington At UFC 273

Aljamain Sterling
Aljamain Sterling

During a recent interview with The Schmo, Sterling was asked how he’s been preparing for his upcoming rematch with Yan, which was previously postponed after the champ withdrew from UFC 267 last October.

Once again embracing the jokes and de-legitimization of his championship status, as he often has, the New York native assured fans he’s been hard at work to reach a Denzel Washington-level of performance at UFC 273.

“Well, I’ve been training a lot, a lot of PT. They have these schools out here, these acting schools. I’ve been going to a lot of those, putting in a lot of extra time,” said Sterling. “So you guys are gonna see a much better [Academy-Award-winning] performance this time. And you guys are gonna be shocked, man. Denzel [Washington] really doesn’t have anything on me. I’m telling you right now. Denzel, Training DayJohn Q—nothin’.”

Given the ongoing prominent fighter pay debate, there’s perhaps a comparison to be made between Washington’s John Q character and the UFC fighters pushing for better remuneration.

But given the tactics Sterling’s accused of employing last March, perhaps a comparison to Denzel’s dirty cop portrayal in Training Day is more apt for UFC 273…

While he’s been more than happy to engage in memes and jokes surrounding his title crowning last year, Sterling will certainly be looking to focus on the task at hand come April 9.

He will no doubt acknowledge himself as the only true champion in the division, but some believe interim titleholder Yan holds that crown. UFC 273 will provide a chance for Sterling to legitimize his reign once and for all. Against a fighter like “No Mercy,” he’ll have a tough task on his hands.

Who do you think will leave UFC 273 as the undisputed bantamweight king, Aljamain Sterling or Petr Yan?

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