Thursday, May 26, 2022

John McCarthy Walks Back “Round 1” Sterling/Yan Comments

Bellator color commentator and former referee John McCarthy has appeared to change his stance on the opening round of the UFC 273 rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.

In the April 9 co-main event, Sterling proved a lot of people wrong by successfully defending his title against arch-rival Yan, whom he dethroned via disqualification last year. After the rematch went the distance, “Funk Master’ was awarded a split decision win.

For most, the result came down to a tight first round, with the following four appearing clearly split between the pair. Post-event, McCarthy emphatically disagreed with the two judges who scored the round in Sterling’s favor.

“I was very impressed with Aljamain and the way he fought, but there’s no way he won that first round,” McCarthy said on his Weighing In podcast. “The heavier shots were landed easily by Yan, and I thought it was a smart tactic by Aljamain to stay on the outside, to move continuously, but he didn’t land much… There’s no way in the world you’re gonna tell me that Aljo won that first round.” (h/t MMA Junkie)

McCarthy’s comments drew significant backlash from the champ, who slammed the former UFC official’s take on Twitter. In his own response, the 59-year-old seemingly doubled down on his opinion.

However, during the latest edition of his podcast, McCarthy offered a different perspective that he formed upon a rewatch of the opening round.

From “No Way” to “Razor-Close,” McCarthy Has A Change Of Heart

Despite originally insisting that there’s “no way in the world” the champ did enough to take the first frame, McCarthy has now described the opening five minutes of action as “razor-close,” and a round that could have gone either way.

McCarthy cited a relaxed view of the fight among friends as the reason for his initial lopsided take.

“I went back and watched the first round. And I will say this, I say it all the time, don’t sit there and talk to your friends and watch a fight and think that you judged it correctly,” admitted McCarthy. “Because, I was talking to my friends. And when I went back and watched it as a judge, it’s razor-close.

“It can go either way. And I can understand where someone looks at Aljamain and gives him the round. And I can look at where you can say that, yes, Yan won the round. It really comes down to what you give credit for, and this is the difference,” concluded McCarthy. (h/t Sportskeeda)

While it’s certainly an admirable trait to change an option based on further evidence, Sterling and his supporters will likely question why McCarthy confidently dismissed his victory on a public forum having not assessed the opening round closely.

And given co-host Josh Thomson’s stern defense of McCarthy’s verdict during a heated interaction on Twitter last week, it’s quite possible that Sterling may have some additional comments reserved for both men after McCarthy’s apparent backtrack.

What do you make of John McCarthy’s latest comments on the first round of Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan 2?

Related Articles
Related Articles