Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Sterling Attempts To Educate MMA Media On UFC 280 Outcome

UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling feels MMA media as a whole is paying too much attention to TJ Dillashaw’s shoulder injury.

Sterling defeated Dillashaw via a second-round TKO at UFC 280 on Saturday. After Dillashaw’s shoulder popped out just minutes into the fight, he seized on the opportunity and used his signature grappling to overwhelm him.

Almost immediately after the fight, a talking point of Sterling’s win was Dillashaw’s pre-existing injury and how the UFC wasn’t aware of it. Many feel the fight would’ve been immensely more competitive had Dillashaw not opted to fight injured.

While the unfortunate circumstances regarding Sterling’s win are noteworthy, he feels it wouldn’t have made a difference had Dillashaw been 100% healthy.

Aljamain Sterling Dismisses Narrative Surrounding UFC 280 Win

In a recent tweet, Sterling criticized MMA journalists for their perception of how the UFC 280 fight played out.

“What’s fascinating to me is that all you media outlets truly feel had his shoulder not dislocate from my initial TD, or if it was healthy, that it would’ve changed anything,” Sterling tweeted. “He would’ve kicked. I would’ve caught it. Game over. He might’ve been more reckless and made it easier.”

It didn’t take long for one prominent MMA media member, CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri, to challenge Sterling’s position.

“With all due respect Aljo, I think you’re missing the point with this specific example,” Mahjouri replied to Sterling. “I’m certain they mention in this episode that your TDs and performance deserve praise. They’re only suggesting that TJ’s camp robbed the fans of possibly experiencing a competitive fight, IMO.”

Sterling showed off elite wrestling and ground-and-pound in his fight against Dillashaw. Despite this, attention has to an extent been taken away from his performance and more focus put on Dillashaw.

Dillashaw admitted in his UFC 280 Octagon interview that he felt bad for holding up the division and fighting hurt.

This is far from the first time that MMA media has been the target of criticism in recent months. Just days ago, former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov ripped journalists for changing narratives following title fights.

Earlier this year, former UFC two-weight champion Daniel Cormier criticized journalists for their handling of Dominick Cruz‘s comments about his commentary.

Sterling will look to continue his title reign, potentially against Henry Cejudo at UFC 284 in February. Despite coming off of arguably the biggest win of his career, he remains critical of those brainstorming how the UFC 280 fight might’ve played out.

What do you think of Aljamain Sterling’s comments?