‘I Realized People Don’t Give a C**p’ – Aljamain Sterling Explains Why He Went Full Heel After Becoming the UFC’s Bantamweight Champion

Published 08/28/2021, 8:13 AM EDT
DALLAS, TX – SEPTEMBER 08: Aljamain Sterling celebrates his submission victory over Cody Stamann in their bantamweight fight during the UFC 228 event at American Airlines Center on September 8, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Soon after receiving the bantamweight title at UFC 259 via disqualification against Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling took to Instagram to share a close celebration with his family. This didn’t sit well with many MMA fans and fighters alike, considering the manner in which he got the belt. 

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Aljamain Sterling has quickly become one of the most polarizing figures in the UFC. Surprisingly, the 32-year-old has gladly taken on the role of the heel, regularly infuriating fans on social media.   

In a recent interview with Chris Weidman, Aljamain Sterling explained why he went down the path of an antagonist after becoming a UFC champion.

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I was told I was partying, I was told I was getting s**t-faced. It was like the stuff that made no sense, cause it’s like, how do you even know any of this when you weren’t even there? And that was the most frustrating part because I was defending myself trying to say ‘Guys, I wasn’t even drinking.’ And I thought to a point where I was like, ‘ Yo, these people don’t even care, they’re just mad that Petr Yan was stupid, and he lost the fight, and it’s on him, and I have the belt.’ So, I got to the point where I stopped defending myself, and I realized these people don’t give a c**p about anything but their guy’, there’s almost like a McGregor cult… So, it is what it is, and that’s why I started floating the belt and started putting it in people’s faces.” 

Whatever the case may be, Sterling now has another opportunity to silence the haters once and for all. ‘FunkMaster’ will defend his belt against Petr Yan in a rematch at UFC 267.   

Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan: The rematch 

 Soon after becoming the champion, Aljamain Sterling chose to take some time off. This, so he could undergo surgery for a severe neck injury that he had been dealing with for quite a while

Now, as he has recovered, both fighters are finally ready to face each other for the second time at UFC 267. Although Petr Yan was the superior fighter in their first meeting, one can expect Aljamain Sterling to be back on his A-game.     

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Regardless, come fight night, the bantamweight division will have an undisputed and unquestionable champion. The new king at 135, will then have to defend his throne against the likes of T.J Dillashaw and Rob Font, or perhaps, engage in a trilogy against the loser of the UFC 267 bout.

What do you think? Who wins the rematch? Let us know in the comments.

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David Andrew

144 articles

David Andrew is an MMA author at EssentiallySports with a background in English Literature from St. Stephens College. Prior to his current role, David, who combines his passion for writing and combat sports, contributed to the MMA divisions at Sportskeeda and The Sportsrush.

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