Aljamain Sterling Releases Statement After UFC 259 Victory

Published 03/08/2021, 1:25 PM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Aljamain Sterling punches Petr Yan of Russia in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC bantamweight Aljamain Sterling took to social media and put out a statement following his victory at UFC 259. ‘The Funkmaster’ picked up the undisputed title of the world against Petr Yan when the two met in the middle. However, the way in which the victory came by Sterling left plenty to be desired.

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The Longo-Serra fighter won the contest via disqualification as Petr Yan threw an intentionally illegal knee to a downed opponent. Referee Mark Smith had no choice but to call-off the fight as Aljamain Sterling wasn’t able to continue. Chiefly, this goes down as the first time in UFC history that a title changed hands of a DQ.

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Aljamain Sterling received plenty of flak online from his contemporaries who went after him for allegedly faking his injury. Fighters like Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw were quick to hit out at Aljamain and laud his ‘Oscar’ winning performance. Sterling who clapped back at his detractors also sent out a Tweet that clarifies his state of mind.

UFC bantamweight rematch: Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan

The only logical course of action following UFC259’s controversy is to run things back between Sterling and Yan. The fight itself was largely competitive, however, ‘No Mercy’ Yan was seemingly pulling away in the fourth. However, a rematch is required to definitively decide who comes out as the true kingpin at 135-pounds.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (L-R) Petr Yan of Russia punches Aljamain Sterling in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Additionally, UFC President Dana White is also in agreement that the fight should take place at the earliest. The only downside is that it leaves the other top-ranked contenders out in the cold until the title landscape is clear. Fighters like Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw are chomping at the bit to make a definitive title run.

The UFC’s 135-pound division has arguably been one of the most dynamic weight classes as of late. New prospects are continually emerging to the forefront while the grizzly veterans are also standing their ground. It’s hard to imagine that at one point in time the bantamweight division wasn’t an integral part of the UFC’s machine.

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Darryl Pinto

1641 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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