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UFC champ Aljamain Sterling changes tune on controversial Sean O’Malley decision win

Aljamain Sterling takes another look at Sean O’Malley’s controversial win over Petr Yan.

UFC 280: Yan v O’Malley
Sean O’Malley emerges victorious over Petr Yan at UFC 280.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Aljamain Sterling no longer thinks Petr Yan was ‘robbed’ against Sean O’Malley after taking another look at their controversial Fight of the Night at UFC 280.

Sterling doesn't disagree with the consensus that former bantamweight champion Yan won the fight but disputes the notion that ‘it was a robbery’ after crediting O’Malley with inflicting more damage and outlanding ‘No Mercy’ in significant strikes 84 to 58.

The reigning UFC bantamweight champion came to O’Malley’s aid during a recent YouTube video in which he stated that ‘Sugar’ (love him or hate him) undeniably belongs in the top three at 135 pounds after his victory over Yan.

“Round one was really hard to score. It reminded me of my first round with Yan, the second time. Very, very tough round to score. I had to go back and watch it to see how much damage Sean did, versus the control that Yan had in round one, and did that control time outweigh the damage that was done in round from Sean.” Sterling said on his YouTube channel (h/t MMA News).

“If Yan did damage and got control time, then I agree that Yan should’ve won round one,” he added. “Watching the fight while warming up in the back room, I felt Yan won the fight… Razor thin fight. I don’t think it was a robbery by any means… Really good fight.”

O’Malley has fired back at the critics by opining that he would have received more credit had he lost to Yan at UFC 280, stating: “If I would have lost that fight, people would put a lot more respect on my name. Damn, he lost but that motherf–r’s good.’ Now it’s like, ‘He won?! He won?! You’ve got to be shitting me!’ But the people that are mad that I won are the ones that said I was supposed to get whooped.”

O’Malleys split decision win over Yan saw him catapult to #1 in the UFC bantamweight rankings, with a title shot against Sterling likely next.