‘I Would Not Prefer to Become Champion the Way Aljamain Sterling Did’- Khabib Nurmagomedov

Published 07/02/2021, 1:33 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 05: (L-R) Opponents Petr Yan of Russia and Aljamain Sterling face off during the UFC 259 weigh-in at UFC APEX on March 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Former UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, discussed many things related to fighting in a chat with UFC Russia. Among the topics up for discussion, was the controversy surrounding the bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259.

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Well I would not prefer to become a champion the way Sterling did, I think he understands it and his people do, but they try to support him, and I understand them. Well, what’s done is done. I would not like to be the champion who almost lost and won his belt because his opponent broke the rules. I don’t want to judge anyone but I would not things to be this way,” said Nurmagomedov.

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Speaking about Yan-  yes he made a huge mistake, it cost him the belt. Anyway, if Petr properly does his homework, he will benefit a lot from this. First of all, he needs that to continue his training process and to stay hungry and focused. I think he will be given a fight this year, or even a rematch, and he deserves it. Anyways, I think he needs it and it will help him a lot. I hope he finds a way to use it to his own advantage. We will see when he gets a rematch and will take a belt,” the Dagestani added.

Will we see Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling 2 this year?

Yan is expected to fight for a rematch against Sterling next. Many believed ‘No Mercy’ didn’t actually lose the fight and the disqualification was unfortunate on his part. Also, given Yan was firmly in control of the contest until the point of disqualification, that only makes sense.

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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)

Also, the UFC has indicated that they will be matching up the duo straight away for a rematch next. However, with Sterling out injured, nothing has been made official yet. When the promotion eventually matches up the duo again, remains to be seen.

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Apratim Banerjee

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Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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