UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling thinks his boss Dana White made himself look like a casual fan with comments over the weekend that the New Yorker did not win his UFC 273 title bout against Petr Yan.
In a highly competitive matchup where the results came down to how the judges scored the first round, Sterling successfully defended his title for the first time with a split-decision win over Yan this past weekend. However, when “Funkmaster’s” boss Dana White was asked about the decision immediately after the event, he did not shy away from disagreeing with the result.
“I thought the judges blew that one,” White told the media Saturday night. “I had it 3-2 [for Yan]. I don’t know how you guys scored it. It’s all in however you score that first round.”
Aljamain Sterling questions Dana White’s opinion on his UFC 273 victory
The better decision would have been not to comment on the result and further added to doubt of Sterling’s championship reign. After he won the belt by disqualification last year. However, that has never been White’s style and is part of why he has many supporters. It’s also why Sterling told MMAJunkie on Friday he wasn’t surprised by the comments. Since it wasn’t the first time he claims his employer downplayed his talents.
“I feel like Dana has slighted me multiple times before. So as long as that motherf***er put that belt around this waist, that’s all that matters,” Sterling said. “As long as that check clears, and you put that belt around my waist, hey man, we can shake hands and agree to disagree because making a mean face and carrying an Arthur fist for five minutes doesn’t win you a round.
“You getting hit while the other guy is doing the hitting doesn’t win you the round, so I think Dana needs to go back and watch it, and I guarantee he’s gonna have a different take because we landed about the same amount of strikes,” he continued. “I outpointed him about 5-7 more, and I landed the cleaner, harder strikes, and especially that step-in elbow that stumbled him backward. How does he win the round? The judges blew that? Come on, man, give me a break.”
- Aljamain Sterling record: 21-3 (2 knockouts, 8 submissions)
Sterling questions White’s knowledge of MMA
Fight judging in mixed martial arts has been a source of controversy and debates for years, as many fans and media have lamented the poor job done by some underqualified individuals in that role. And there have been many horrid decisions during the sport near 30-year existence. However, the bantamweight title fight at UFC 273 was far from the worst, and not a cause for great debate after the bout. That is the case Sterling made what he suggested White’s comments as a moment of being a “hater.”
“Relax, Dana. It’s gonna be OK, and it gets better. Trust me. There’s gonna be better fights coming out of me later on. I think he needs to realize he shouldn’t be doing that in general,” said Sterling. “It’s not a good look. You come off as a hater and then two, I think it kinda makes him look like he doesn’t know the sport.”
Sterling’s next title defense has not yet been set, but he is expected to face former two-time champion TJ Dillashaw sometime this summer.