Friday, May 27, 2022

Sterling Says He’ll Be “So Petty” If He Beats Yan In The Rematch

The UFC bantamweight champion has once again taken aim at his detractors. 

Aljamain Sterling has had a rough 2021. After becoming the first champion to win the belt via disqualification, Sterling became the target of MMA fans. Petr Yan landed an illegal knee in their title bout, and Sterling was unable to continue. Yet, fans were quick to point out that they felt Sterling overreacted to the blow. 

While dealing with the blowback, Sterling was forced out of their rematch because of lingering issues from neck surgery. The withdrawal fueled the vitriol hurled at “The Funkmaster.” 

If you’ve been following Yan and Sterling on social media, it’s no secret they don’t like each other. The fighters have gone back and forth on social media and memes disparaging Sterling are aplenty around the web. All this seems to feed Sterling.

Prior to the fight being rebooked for UFC 273 in April, Sterling went on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour to explain one of the incentives to beating Yan in the rematch: rubbing it in others’ faces. 

“So it’d be nice to make some money. And I can’t wait to do it and shove it up everyone’s asses and have them just—I’m gonna be so petty, man. I try to be humble about my wins. I always talk shit before the fights with all my opponents, but I always be humble about the wins. But this one, there’s just something different where I feel like it’s deserved.

Aljamain Sterling Put Everything Together At The Right Time
Aljamain Sterling, Image Credit: UFC.com

“And either way. Knock on wood, if things don’t go my way and he decides to do the same thing, that’s fine. I’ll eat it. I’ll eat it. I’m a man of my word, I back up my words, and I have no problem eating shit if I lose. But at the same time, I really do in my heart feel like I’m better than this guy and I can’t wait to have everyone just suck it.”

When Sterling pulled out of the rematch at UFC 267, Cory Sandhagen stepped up to fight the Russian destroyer. Sandhagen and Yan put on an entertaining display of technical mastery that ended with the interim belt around Yan’s waist.

Sterling has been absent from the Octagon since winning the title back in March. That will change when he steps into the Octagon to finally settle the score with Petr Yan in April.

How do you think the Yan/Sterling rematch goes down?

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