Aljamain Sterling isn’t the only one receiving hate. His head coach Ray Longo has also been on the receiving end.
Sterling became the bantamweight champion at UFC 259 this past weekend after Petr Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee in the fourth round of their title fight.
Many believed Sterling was milking the illegal knee going by how he was reacting to it and flopping on the ground.
Things got worse when Sterling left the belt in the Octagon claiming he didn’t want to win it that way only for him to celebrate with the title a few hours later.
And Longo believes winning the belt has almost cursed Sterling as while “Funk Master” is receiving plenty of hate, he himself has also received tons of hateful messages despite not saying anything on social media.
“Even though Aljo won the belt, it’s almost like it cursed him,” Longo told MMA Junkie. “Guys, the amount of hate that I’m getting is insane. Like, I don’t make the f*cking rules. What are you yelling at me for?
“This is insanity. I’ve been around a long time. I’ve never experienced this ever. This is pure hatred. For what? I have no clue. It’s a f*cking sport and there are rules.
“If anything, I’d really love to hear from Yan what would possess him. You were winning the fight at that point. Why would you do that? It wasn’t in the heat of the battle. It’s just nuts, man. I’ll just tell you: This social media sh*t is out of control.”
Longo: Sterling Was Puking At The House
As far as overreacting to the knee?
Longo believes people have no idea what a clean knee to the dome feels like as he revealed Sterling was throwing up at the house after the fight.
“People that think this kid was faking it, they’re mentally deficient in a lot of areas because when I left him he was throwing up at the house,” Longo said. “By the time I left, he (had gone) to bed. I guess they cleared him on the CT scan. He’s back from the hospital.
“That was a vicious shot. It was blatant. Why that guy would’ve (done) it, being the champion, it’s not even a valid excuse: Do I know the rules or do I not know the rules?”
Regardless of how Longo and Sterling feel, the hate will only continue — at least, until the eventual rematch with Yan is booked.
And while Longo is immune to the critics, he can only hope his fighter is as mentally strong.
“Listen, I hope (Sterling) can compartmentalize this,” Longo added. “The sh*t he’s getting thrown at him, if he’s a sensitive cat, he’s f*cking in trouble. I’m telling you the sh*t I got. I’ll never respond to anything. And I mean this from the bottom of my heart: I couldn’t care less what anybody says.
“It’s almost comical, to me, at this point. I think the first time I woke up, I just rolled over and looked at my phone: ‘You’re a piece of sh*t.’”
It certainly takes a strong-minded individual to not let MMA fans get to their heads.