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“Disrespectful” – Joe Rogan Doesn’t Interview Aljamain Sterling at UFC 300 for Surprising Reason

Published 04/13/2024, 9:59 PM EDT

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Aljamain Sterling‘s featherweight debut at UFC 300 was a success despite a lack of fireworks inside the cage. The former UFC bantamweight champion showcased his grappling skills in the fight as he shut down the dangerous Calvin Kattar for all three rounds en route to winning via unanimous decision. However, despite a ‘piledriver’ attempt from Sterling, the fight was largely lacking big moments, and the crowd was upset at what they were witnessing inside the cage.

But one of the most shocking parts of the fight was the aftermath. A lack of an in-cage interview for the former champion! As he was declared the winner, it was surprising to see him not get a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Witnessing such a predicament, ‘Spinnin Backfist’ account on X shared, “Damn they didn’t even give Aljo a Joe Rogan interview. Maybe for TV timing? If not…disrespectful. #UFC300.”

It seems the UFC fighter was just as stunned not to see Joe Rogan around for a quick interview. Generally, after the winner is announced, Rogan rushes into the octagon to ask questions. The same was true for Max Holloway, Alex Pereira, Zhang Weili- all of whom won their fights. Why was Sterling skipped? Neither the promotion nor Joe Rogan has commented about it. However, fans have speculated that the lack of action during the fight is responsible for this.

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So time constraints caused the promotion to make such a decision. This has happened in the past as well because ESPN+ holds the prelims and the main card is PPV. However, Sterling was also booed by the crowd after the fight. If his octagon interview had taken place, could the booing have gotten worse? Probably.

But do you remember how Joe Rogan was once against interviewers being rude to boxers? Think about Larry Merchant’s interview with Floyd Mayweather. Speaking about that, Rogan once said, “The way I communicate with the fighters, I try to be 100% respectful at all times. And also, with reverence to the fact that these people, they trained for their whole life. And then, you know, six to twelve weeks for that particular event, when I’m in the ring and I’m in the cage, I’m trying to interview a fighter, all I’m trying to do is try to get that person to express themselves the best way they can. As respectfully as they can. I would’ve not talked to him(Floyd Mayweather) like that.”

So it is unlike Rogan to purposefully not interview a fighter. Coming back to Sterling, his lack of urgency in trying to finish the fight was noticed by the crowd and the broadcast team. Regardless, he got the opportunity to share his thoughts with Megan Olivi and also during the post-fight press conference. “If I’m being honest, I felt like everything was kind of moving in a little bit of slow motion. I felt like the training we did was spot on. Was able to see a lot of things. It was like being back in the training room.”

With the latest win, Sterling extended his record to 24-4. But did you know that most of his wins have been through decisions? Yes! He has seen 3 victories by KO/TKO, 8 by submission, 12 wins by decisions, and 1 via his opponent’s disqualification.

Further, this isn’t the first time ‘Funk Master’ was branded as a boring fighter. Remember his UFC 273 fight against Petr Yan? The fact that he spent a lot of time on the ground and on Yan’s back trying to get in a choke didn’t sit well with many. Because of this, some fans started referring to him as a ‘human backpack’. Similarly, remember his UFC 259 fight against Yan? When Yan used an illegal knee against Sterling, the latter was unable to continue fighting. Here, many fans thought that ‘Funk Master’ was faking being hurt to get an easy win via Yan’s disqualification.

Coming back to the UFC 300 fight, let us not forget it was his featherweight debut. It is possible that Sterling was playing it safe to see how well he can adjust to fighting in a heavier-weight class. As lackluster as the whole thing was, Sterling will find himself ranked in the featherweight division this coming week. So what does this win mean for the ex-bantamweight champion?

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Bittersweet UFC 300 victory for Aljamain Sterling

Aljamain Sterling came into UFC 300 looking to make a statement in the featherweight division after losing his bantamweight title to Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 last year. Many experts had predicted that the move up in weight would benefit a grapple-heavy stylist like the ‘Funk Master’ and it rang true with his performance against Calvin Kattar.

Sterling was arguably the most happy athlete on stage when Dana White agreed to $300K bonuses for the event. One would have imagined he would have fought tooth and nail to claim one of those checks for himself. But the performance showed no such intent and several fans pointed it out on social media.

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As for his prospects in the featherweight division, he could fight anyone from the top 5-7 spots and start calling for a title shot with a win. His next fight could come up against potential names like Yair Rodriguez, Movsar Evloev, Arnold Allen and Brian Ortega. Sterling specifically showed interest in fighting Ortega.

Who should Sterling fight next? And what did you make of this performance from the former champion? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Dushyant Patni

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Dushyant Patni is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Dushyant brings 8 years of professional writing experience to his coverage of MMA at ES. This literature graduate excels in the coverage of both MMA-related and off-topic subjects.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das