Aljamain Sterling is excited to prove his doubters wrong at UFC 273.
Sterling is set to rematch Petr Yan in the co-main event in a highly-anticipated bout. The two first met at UFC 259 when Yan was the champ and the first two rounds were competitive but in the third and fourth rounds, it was clear Yan was beginning to pull away. However, the Russian threw an illegal knee and was DQ’d, leaving Sterling to become the new champ.
Now, at UFC 273, the two are set to rematch and although many fans have called Sterling the “paper champ”, he says he felt he was the champ after he defeated Cory Sandhagen.
“I felt I was the champ when I beat Cory Sandhagen. The media said the same thing. We were the highest-ranked guys. We should’ve been fighting for the belt, not a guy coming off a loss and not a guy who just beat a retired Urijah Faber,” Sterling said at UFC 273 media day. “Urijah Faber is great, but he did his work back in the day, not currently. For him to get a title shot, both of those guys, they did not belong in that title-shot situation. We know how the UFC operates. At the end of the day, it’s what have you done for me lately?’I felt like a champ going into that fight, so no one could ever tell me, you’re the most unqualified champion.”
Although Aljamain Sterling was the one who got kneed, he has received a ton of backlash from haters which he is excited to silence come Saturday. The plan for ‘Funkmaster’ is to dominate Yan and get the submission win and prove he is the better fighter.
Should Sterling beat Yan as he expects to, he is excited to see what people have to say about him after that.
“I smoke him, what are people going to say?. What are people going to say if and when I smoke this guy? It’s a little sweet to stick it to people a little bit, kind of rub it in their faces. People did it to me,” Sterling said. “When I do it back, I hope people can take it the same way I had to take it for 13 months. I’m ready to just end this chapter and move on to the next one.”
Do you think Aljamain Sterling will beat Petr Yan at UFC 273?