Aljamain Sterling addresses “aged gracefully” comments from Anthony Smith regarding the illegal knee incident: “When you’ve got a bone to pick with somebody, you kinda got to call it how it is”

By Lewis Simpson - May 12, 2023

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has addressed Anthony Smith’s “aged gracefully” comments regarding his illegal knee incident with Petr Yan.

Aljamain Sterling

Back in 2021, at UFC 259, Sterling’s championship reign began, but the way the championship was attained caused a massive uproar in the community. Sterling had challenged Yan in a highly-anticipated matchup at the top of the division, and after cruising his way to victory, before making a crucial mistake that would cost him his world title.

In the fourth round, Yan landed an illegal knee on the then-challenger, which resulted in a disqualification, and Sterling left the UFC Apex in Las Vegas as the new champion. Despite Yan clearly being in the wrong, Sterling was the one who faced backlash for the way he dramatically handled the situation.

Aljamain Sterling admits aftermath of title win was ridiculous

During a recent episode of Believe You Me, hosted by Michael Bisping, and his co-host Anthony Smith, Sterling admitted that after watching the aftermath of the incident, it was tough.

“Do you think I want to be rolling around the floor? I’m supposed to be this tough bad*ss, and I’m rolling around on the floor. I don’t know what I look like, and then when I go back, and I watch it, I’m like yeah, that look’s pretty bad. I look ridiculous rolling around looking like that with my eyes rolling back.” Sterling voiced.

Sterling also wanted to address a comment from the BYM co-host, Smith, who was absent from the episode due to fighting this Saturday at UFC Charlotte against Johnny Walker.

As a fighter and analyst for the UFC, Smith has been vocal in expressing his feelings on the situation surrounding the way Sterling handled the illegal knee, furthering the case by comparing it to the time he was hit by an illegal knee against Jon Jones.

In Smiths first and only title opportunity at UFC 235 in 2019, he was hit by an illegal knee by Jones in the fourth-round. Instead of taking a life-line to the championship in a fight he was already losing, Smith honourably continued fighting to the final bell.

Last December, in a video on his Youtube Channel, Sterling briefly touched on Smith’s comments after he compared the illegal knee from Jones to the illegal knee from Yan. With Smith unable to appear on the recent episode of BYM, Sterling still wanted to address the light heavyweight’s comments respectfully.

Sterling addresses Anthony Smith’s comments

“He’s made a couple of remarks in the past about my fight with Petr Yan, and I wanted to ask him, like, do you really compare your knee to the head anywhere close to the type of damage that I took to the head, where you saw the knee, and I didn’t see the knee. The impact of your knee versus the impact of my knee, and have the nerve to say it aged gracefully and try to almost like big himself up.”

Sterling assured the audience he did like Smith, and enjoys watching him compete, but it was important for Sterling to clear the air and put the remarks to bed.

“I love Anthony, I love watching him fight, but when you’ve got a bone to pick with somebody, you kinda got to call it how it is. I don’t want there to be that awkward space in the room when we’re together, like, I had to listen to him on multiple occasions talking about it. I redeemed myself. I shut everybody else up. I don’t want to hear about it anymore.”

On Saturday past, Sterling picked up the biggest win of his career, edging a closely contested split decision on the judges’ scorecards over Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey. The victory marked nine straight victories for the 33-year-old.

What do you make of the comments from Aljamain Sterling towards Anthony Smith? Are they warranted? Let us know in the comments!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Aljamain Sterling Anthony Smith UFC