Aljamain Sterling has issued a statement following the immense backlash he has received for posing with the UFC bantamweight title.
Sterling (20-3 MMA) captured the promotions coveted bantamweight title at Saturday’s UFC 259 event, but it was not in the fashion he or anyone watching desired.
Instead of taking home the title for outpointing or stopping Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling instead captured the belt by way of disqualification.
‘Funkmaster’ had a strong start to his fight with Yan, but the Russian standout began to turn the tide in his favor soon after. Then, when it seemed Petr was on his way to possibly earning a finish, he inexplicably kneed Sterling in the head while he was ruled down. The strike was deemed illegal and Sterling could not continue and was thus awarded the title.
Since the win, Aljamain Sterling has been peppered by insults from fans and fellow fighters alike. ‘Funkmaster’ took to Instagram where he issued the following statement for anyone who is offended that he is posing with the UFC belt.
“I didn’t win the @UFC belt the way I envisioned it, but I also didn’t do anything illegal. My friends and family flew miles to come see me and asked me to hoist the belt up as a champion, because I carried myself as such.” Aljamain Sterling wrote. “If that offends you then you have no love in your life, and your own issues to sort out. I’m the ‘champ’, but I won’t personally feel 100% validation until I defend this the way I envisioned winning it, in the first place! Either way, I can’t wait to be cleared. The future is bright and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for my team and I. Stay the course. Make adjustments. Life. Moves. On.”
The UFC is obviously targeting an immediate rematch between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling. However, ‘Funkmaster’ recently suggested he would be willing to fight someone else in his first attempt at a title defense.