Last weekend, Aljamain Sterling became the new UFC bantamweight champion after Petr Yan was disqualified following an illegal knee in the main card of UFC 259 that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Aljamain Sterling won by DQ to become the new UFC bantamweight champion. Petr Yan threw an illegal knee in the fourth round that connected hard with Aljamain’s jaw which concussed him. The knee was so brutal that, Aljamain Sterling couldn’t even stand up on his own while Bruce Buffers was announcing the winner.
Since winning the belt, Aljamain Sterling has been repeatedly been accused of overselling the illegal knee. Now Ajlamain Sterling has said that he didn’t want to become a champion in such a fashion and also pointed out that everything that has happened is because of Petr Yan’s mistake and it isn’t something that he has control over.
“I am now technically the new UFC champion of the world,” Sterling said on his “The Weekly Scraps Podcast.” “Bittersweet, because it’s not the way I wanted to win, was a DQ by another man making an illegal move and being disqualified from the match. It’s not the way I wanted to win. Just so you guys know: I don’t feel like I am the champ because I obviously didn’t win this the way I wanted to win it. But rules are in place for a reason. It’s mind-boggling to me that a guy like Yan can get to his caliber, the highest of the highs to become a champion, and still make mistakes like that.”
Aljamain Sterling wanted to continue fighting against Petr Yan
Aljamain Sterling also said that he wanted to continue despite the illegal knee from Petr Yan.
“I do remember asking, ‘How much time do I have?’ Because I wanted to continue,” Sterling said. “In this moment, I’m thinking a whole bunch of things in my head: Dana (White’s) not going to give me another shot at the title, the fight’s going to be a no contest, Dana’s going to say, ‘He was losing that fight in the fourth round, so why should we use him again? We already know the direction the fight was heading, so we’re going to move on from this.’ Then me, I’m never going to get the opportunity again. I’m going to have to win three or four more fights to get back in this position for a world title again.
“Those thoughts are going through my head. Not, ‘I’m going to become world champion.’ This, I did’t even think I was getting this. I didn’t even want this. Then all my friends and family see me. They knew I had this. They took it out of the bag for me. Put it on my shoulder and wanted me to be proud of my performance and how I carried myself. They all knew it wasn’t the way I wanted to win, but they said I’m still the champ. I did this. It’s hard to get in this position anyway to fight for a world title.”
“For the fighters that said I milked it, good for you guys,” Aljamain Sterling said. “Do you guys ever see me quit or look for a way out? Where a guy puts on a half-assed rear-naked choke, and it’s half on, and you look around and go, ‘OK, I can tap now. … I can quit now.’ You guys are the freaking softies. I fought my ass off the entire time, and I was not going to quit in that fight. I was going to take my licking or find a way to persevere or find a way to win like a man because that’s just what I do. I don’t have that quit in me. There’s no quit button whenever I’m in there. You guys might find it easy and talk about the Oscars and everything. You guys are the actors, and it might be a reflection or your own spirits.”