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Khabib: I would not like ‘to become a champion’ the way Aljamain Sterling did

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UFC’s former Lightweight champ will not criticize Aljamain Sterling, but “The Eagle” wouldn’t be content winning a belt the way “Funkmaster” did at UFC 259.

UFC 259: Petr Ya vs. Alajamain Sterling Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Khabib Nurmagomedov would not want an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) world title to his name if he had to take the same route as Aljamain Sterling.

Nurmagomedov (29-0) touched on Sterling’s UFC Bantamweight title win vs. Petr Yan at UFC 259 earlier this year (watch highlights). Yan landed an illegal knee in round four of a fight he was winning on the scorecards. The defending champion was disqualified and Sterling was awarded the belt.

“Well, I would not prefer to become a champion the way [Aljamain] Sterling did. I think he understands it, and his people do, but they try to support him, and I understand them. I would not like to be the champion who almost lost and won his belt just because his opponent broke the rules,” Nurmagomedov told UFC Russia (h/t My MMA News). “I don’t want to judge anyone, but I would not (want) things to be this way.

“Speaking about Yan, yes, he made a huge mistake — it cost him the belt,” he continued. “Anyway, if Petr properly does his homework, he will benefit a lot from this. First of all, he needs to continue his training process and stay hungry and focused. I think he will be given a fight this year, or even a rematch, and he deserves it. Anyways, I think he needs it, and it will help him a lot. I hope he finds a way to use it for his own advantage. We will see it when he gets a rematch and will take the belt. I think that’s the way it should be. Just like in a good Turkish TV show, there is always a happy end.”

Sterling and Yan are expected to rematch for UFC’s 135-pound title at a later date.

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