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Midnight Mania! Aljamain Sterling fires back, ‘you guys are the actors’

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UFC 259: Yan v Sterling Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Aljamain Sterling is dealing with a lot of hate after UFC 259 for something that is hardly his fault. After all, he did not force Petr Yan to throw an illegal knee, nor was it his decision to name the blow intentional and disqualify the Russian boxer. All of this was out of his hands, but that has done little to deter the angry Internet mob.

Of course, it’s a complicated situation for “Funkmaster” himself, and Sterling took to his “The Weekly Scraps Podcast” to elaborate on his feelings.

“I am now technically the new UFC champion of the world,” Sterling said (transcription via MMAJunkie). “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.”

Contrary to popular opinion that Sterling purposefully chose the disqualification win, Sterling explained that he was confused and uncertain about what would happen if he failed to continue. He expected the bout to be ruled a “No Contest” and worried about his future.

“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.”

Finally, Sterling took a moment to fire back at all the fighters and “fans” who accused him of acting in the cage. “For the fighters that said I milked it, good for you guys,” 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.”

At the moment, an immediate rematch between Yan and Sterling is likely but former champions like Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw may attempt to squeeze in first.


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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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