Aljamain Sterling made major adjustments to his approach against Petr Yan in the rematch at UFC 273. It was close and competitive, but he did enough to get the judges nod and score a huge upset to successfully defended his UFC bantamweight title.
There was always a very vocal subset of MMA fans that kept harassing and questioning Sterling’s standing as champion after first winning the title via disqualification. Since this UFC 273 rematch was a close match up, that kind toxicity from the same people seems unlikely to end, but the champion seems to be enjoying this latest victory — as he should.
Sterling took to social media to offer up an apology form for critics to fill up.
WE DID IT!— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) April 10, 2022
DOUBT ME NOW
It’s not exactly fair, but Sterling will likely still have his share of detractors, especially with some people — his promoter Dana White included — questioning that split decision victory. It’s worth noting though, that only two out of the 18 media members scored it for Yan, with the 16 others also awarding Sterling with at least one 10-8 round.
And if there’s anything worth questioning in those scores, it’s that none of the three official judges awarded Sterling with a 10-8 round despite clear dominance, and zero offense from Yan in two rounds.
With the victory, Sterling has now officially won seven straight bouts and improved to 21-3 in his career. The UFC bantamweight champion called out TJ Dillashaw after the contest, and during the post-fight press conference, White agreed that it should be the next match up to make.