Aljamain Sterling and Matt Serra appear to be on good terms after rumors flown by recently regarding both of them have a beef regarding Serra not cornering Aljo at UFC 259.
Following a week in which he became the first UFC champion to win a title by disqualification, Sterling found himself publicly fending off all manner of critics in the aftermath of his fight with Petr Yan at UFC 259. Yan was disqualified after landing an illegal knee on a grounded him in the fourth round, resulting in him forfeiting his belt.
Surprisingly, his longtime coach Matt Serra was one of the voices that took a shot at him. Serra, last week opened up about his disappointment in Sterling’s decision to not include him in his corner for his UFC 259 title fight against Petr Yan. Serra was replaced by Xtreme Couture coach Eric Nicksick, who worked with Aljo in Las Vegas ahead of the fight.
The decision prompted Serra to step away from cornering fighters, which drew speculation on a potential rift between him and Sterling, who claimed the UFC bantamweight title after Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee. But Serra took to Instagram to clarify that he and Aljo will continue working together as they always have.
“People have been giving Aljamain Sterling a lot of hate, one because of the knee and two because they think me and him have some beef or something like that,” Serra said in a video before Sterling appears with him. “It’s true, I’m stepping away from cornering, for now … but I and the ‘Funkmaster’ are always gonna be cool. You know we love each other. I’m gonna help him defend this belt.”
Aljo also posted an image of himself and Serra on social media, writing, “In this together no matter what!”
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) March 16, 2021
Aljamain is expected to defend his bantamweight title against Petr Yan sometime very shortly. The two have unfinished business after what happened at UFC 259 with Sterling winning the title due to Yan being DQ’d due to an illegal knee. Although Matt Serra won’t be in Sterling’s corner for the rematch, he will still coach and train him and get him ready for the fight.
He became the first fighter in UFC history to win a title by disqualification, which led to an uproar of negative feedback from fans. Yan (15-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) was disqualified after he hit Sterling with an illegal knee while he was downed in the fourth round.
All parties, including the UFC, have expressed interest in a rematch as Sterling gears up for his first title defense. Perhaps Serra won’t be physically in his corner, but he vows to be a part of his preparation as he always has.