And like Peña, Sterling was absolutely right.
Sterling spoke often about his critics leading up to his rematch against Petr Yan. After his controversial title win at UFC 259, Sterling was open about the neverending harassment he was subjected to, with people calling him a fraud, an actor, and, of course, Yan’s favorite insult: a clown.
So now that he obtained vindication with his victory in the rematch, he wants to let his detractors know that he is enjoying the last laugh.
“Rollercoaster,” Sterling said in his UFC 273 post-fight media scrum in describing his emotions after the fight. “It’s been a long, long thirteen months, and I think I expressed that a lot during fight week. I’m truly blessed to be back here. I’m just glad I came out on the right side of that decision; I don’t know what the heck that one judge was thinking. But great fight, big night; I have all my friends and my family and my teammates [with me], my fiancée, my mom.
“Just overwhelmed with emotion man, this has just been a dream come true; something I envisioned for a very long time, since I first set sight on this sport and … baby we did it! We did it! We did it the way I wanted to do it, and this time removed all doubt, showed that that last one wasn’t even close to anything I’m capable of doing, you know?
“And for the people who questioned my skills; who’s laughing now? How ‘bout those clown emojis now?”
Now that Sterling has solidified his place as the top bantamweight in the UFC at present, he will no doubt continue celebrating as a new debate begins concerning who should have won the rematch.
But as the saying goes, the only three opinions that matter gave their verdict, and on this night, they scored it for Aljamain “The FunkMaster” Sterling.
Do you agree with the judges’ decision? Was Aljamain Sterling the rightful winner of the UFC 273 co-main event over Petr Yan?