During a joint appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday, the Long Island trio of Gian Villante, Al Iaquinta and Aljamain Sterling closed out the show with a long segment filled with hijinks. Many items were discussed, including their upcoming fights as well as the forthcoming UFC 205, for which they offered their predictions.
Yet when the topic turned to Donald Cerrone vs Kelvin Gastelum, Villante was surprised at Sterling’s choice as Sterling favored Cerrone to win.
Sterling “I’m going with Cerrone. He had that liver thing...”
Villante: “You ARE?!”
Helwani: “What happened?”
“Cerrone almost beat up Al - I mean Alj... (breaks into laughter)”
Helwani then asked for clarification as to what took place between Cerrone and Sterling, which Sterling delved into after some prodding, recounting an incident that took place at a promotional event (at around 4:00:40).
“I don’t know Donald Cerrone. Donald Cerrone came up to me. He was drinking. He made a comment about my chain. OK, ‘Ha ha’. Cool - I understand the chain’s not real, it’s a joke it’s the persona, it’s my character, it’s “The Funk Master”. OK, I get it. So we go to the Bathroom, he makes another comment. He actually said something inappropriate and for me I wasn’t going to just let him slide and just say that. Because one, I don’t know you. You’re not one of my boys from my, from my town. You ain’t going to say no words like that and to me like that and talk to me like that and make me feel a little uncomfortable.
See, and if... I get it. If he talks to his boys like that that’s cool, but we’re not.. we’re not boys. So for you to come out your face and say something like that - it’s kind of weird for you to feel that comfortable with somebody who you’ve never actually hung out with, you never actually had a conversation with, so, I felt a little uncomfortable that he thought that was OK, so I called him out on it. And later throughout the night he just kept getting heated. And then one of his boys... I called him out on it. I was like, ‘You allow him to talk like that around you?’ and he was just kind of like like, ‘oh man, you know man, oh man…’ I was like ‘alright.‘ I was like ‘whatever’”
Villante then added that it was a bit different from his point of view.
Villante: “All i saw was, I thought Cerrone was trying to play with him and like talk like playing around joking around, that’s what I thought...
Sterling: “He tried to turn it into a joke, and it was cool. I understand he tried to play it off, but for me I was just kind of like...”
Villante: “And I thought he (Sterling) was taking it a little too serious...”
Sterling “Nah. It was funny, but at the same time I want you to address what you said and acknowledge that it was wrong. Whether you want to admit it or not it was wrong. You don’t do that. And he never did, so for me, I’m not going to sit there and go ‘ha-ha’ with you and make you think every time you see me you can say shit like that, ‘cause it’s just not going down like that. Because I will stand up for myself.”
It should be noted that Cerrone is certainly no stranger to controversial statements and language, and has also engaged in racial humor to a degree. He’s also been accused by fellow fighter Bobby Green of making racial statements that may be considered questionable at best (said comments were disputed by Cerrone).
Sterling never actually said what terms Cerrone used or what was said in private.
Meanwhile, Aljamain Sterling is slated to take on Raphael Assunçao on the main card of the upcoming Albany event, Ultimate Fight Night 102. That card will be headlined by Derrick Lewis vs Shamil Abdurakhimov, and takes place on December 9th at the Times Union Center in the state capital of Albany, NY.