There is not much more that one could do to start off a title reign in a less desirable way than Sterling. He won the title in an unusual way, earning a DQ victory over then-champ Petr Yan, and while he was able to win a split decision in the rematch, many people felt like the fight could have gone the other way.
Aljamain Sterling Is Getting Punished?
Now Aljamain Sterling is set to make the second defense of his title, against TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280 in October, which takes place in the UFC’s return to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking with MMAFighting ahead of this contest, “Funkmaster” made it clear that he feels like the UFC does not like him, and put his fight in Abu Dhabi as a punishment for beating Yan and remaining the champion.
“I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like, I guess for lack of a better term, the cliche, the red-headed step child,” Sterling said. “It’s not with everybody in the UFC. It’s certain people that probably matter the most. I guess it’s not always the best feeling to be on that side, but I roll with the punches. I’ma do me no matter what, but I don’t feel like I get the push that some others do. Or maybe I’m just in my own head.”
It is not surprising to hear that Aljamain Sterling feels like the UFC is unhappy that he is the champ, especially given how divisive he is amongst the fanbase. That said, if this is true, he is not the only champion to get that kind of treatment.
Do you think that Aljamain Sterling is being punished by having to compete at UFC 280, in Abu Dhabi?