Initially, bantamweight champion Sterling had the opinion that was shared by the overwhelming majority of media and fans, which was that Yan was robbed by the judges in his UFC 280 bout with O’Malley, and that there was no other way of looking at it. He felt that the former champ had clearly won the first and second rounds, saying that he felt bad for Yan, despite their rivalry in the past.
Aljamain Sterling Changes His Opinion
While he felt strongly about it in the immediate aftermath, Aljamain Sterling has changed his opinion on the bout between Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley. He has not changed his mind on who he felt like won the fight, but does have a different outlook on the idea of it having been a robbery.
Speaking in a video on his YouTube channel, Sterling explained that while watching the first time, he felt confident about Yan winning the first two rounds. While he maintains that general stance, he does feel like the first round was close and could have gone either way, stating that O’Malley clearly belongs among the top of the division that he reigns over.
“Round one was really hard to score. It reminded me of my first round with Yan, the second time. Very, very tough round to score. I had to go back and watch it to see how much damage Sean did, versus the control that Yan had in round one, and did that control time outweigh the damage that was done in round from Sean.” Sterling said.
“If Yan did damage and got control time, then I agree that Yan should’ve won round one. Watching the fight while warming up in the back room, I felt Yan won the fight… Razor thin fight. I don’t think it was a robbery by any means… Really good fight.”
This seems to be a balanced point of view from Aljamain Sterling, who has backtracked on his previous comments of Petr Yan vs Sean O’Malley being an outright robbery. At the end of the day, this bout will go down as one of the most controversial decisions in MMA history.
Have you had a change of opinion about Petr Yan vs Sean O’Malley?