Aljamain Sterling, the undisputed bantamweight champion, is going to defend his title in a rematch against the preceding undisputed champion and now the interim-bantamweight champion Yan at UFC 273. The event takes place on April 9, 2022, at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Sterling and Yan first fought back in March 2021 at UFC 259, when Yan was the undisputed champion and Sterling was the #1 contender for the belt. Initially, Sterling was executing the game plan well over Yan, but Petr took over in the later rounds with much cleaner shots against Sterling’s voluminous but touching punches.
In the fourth round, Yan hit Sterling with an illegal knee that caused him to lose the belt. Sterling was crowned as the new champ, but he was embarrassed with the way he won the belt. His teammates forced him to pose with the belt, and it started a whole new world of sledging for Sterling. Fans blasted him for taking pride in his ‘fake belt’ and after a point, Sterling just stopped caring.
I just think he’s taking it too far“- Robert Whittaker isn’t impressed by Aljamain Sterling’s behavior after becoming the champ
Sterling started boasting with the belt, and many fighters found this behavior inappropriate. The former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker believes Sterling took things too far away, and it’s almost embarrassing. Talking to MainEvent, he said, “The character, he’s gone with it. It’s just too far because he can fight. He’s a phenomenal fighter. He is unbelievable. But you can’t go claiming you’re the best in the world from it either because he didn’t win, Petr lost. Sterling didn’t win, Petr lost.”
“That is how it happened. That is the undeniable truth of the matter. So you can’t go around saying ‘I’m the champ, I’m the best in the world’ because you didn’t win the belt. You were given it. It’s different. But like I said before, there’s the business side of it and the longevity side of whatever it is he’s trying to do, and he’s done that. I just think he’s taking it too far, a bit disrespectful,” Whittaker concluded.