Saturday, December 3, 2022

Aljamain Sterling Sympathizes With Yan After UFC 280 ‘Robbery’

UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling sympathizes with two-time adversary Petr Yan following his controversial loss to Sean O’Malley.

Sterling defeated former champion TJ Dillashaw via second-round TKO at UFC 280. A fight before on the card, Yan lost to O’Malley via split decision in one of the most exciting fights of the event.

Despite the entertainment value of Yan/O’Malley, the biggest talking point after the fight was the judges’ scorecards. Many fans and pundits felt Yan won the fight, with some believing he didn’t lose a single round against O’Malley although the fight was competitive.

Tensions between Sterling and Yan have lessened since their two fights in the Octagon. They had a cordial pre-UFC 280 run-in that went viral and the two of them sat next to each other at the pre-fight press conference without issue.

In the aftermath of Yan’s latest defeat, Sterling sympathized with the former bantamweight champion.

Aljamain Sterling Supports Petr Yan Following Controversial Loss To Sean O’Malley

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Sterling gave his thoughts on Yan vs. O’Malley.

“I felt bad for Yan,” Sterling said. “I think he got robbed. O’Malley was a little shocked and perplexed after the decision as well, it caught him off guard…now he knows what it feels like when I was in the same position. The difference is I actually knew I won the fight, and he’s on the side where he won the fight and he doesn’t even know if he really won the fight until he goes back and watches. In the fight, I knew based on the strike count that I freaking won the fight.”

Sterling is referring to his UFC 273 split-decision win over Yan earlier this year. Some fans and pundits feel Yan did enough to earn the victory on the judges’ scorecards at UFC 273, on the contrary, the majority of viewers feel there was a robbery at UFC 280.

Sterling lost earlier in his career in back-to-back split decision defeats to Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assunção, as Yan now has against him and O’Malley. Nine fights later, Sterling fought for the bantamweight title against Yan at UFC 259.

When pondering his next move in the Octagon, Sterling hinted that a fight with Yan would add to his legacy. If the UFC opts to give O’Malley the next title shot, he feels it would be a massive pay-per-view draw.

Yan and Sterling could potentially meet for a third time in the Octagon and Yan will likely earn an opportunity to bounce back in a big way in his next fight.

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