Aljamain Sterling doesn’t understand why Petr Yan is entitled to a rematch.
Yan is expected to face Sterling in a bantamweight title rematch after losing his title following an illegal knee in the fourth round of their contest at UFC 259 earlier this month.
While Yan’s knee was certainly intentional, he claims he misread the situation and thought Sterling was legally in a position to be kneed to the head.
And despite being the one to take the illegal knee, Sterling has found himself receiving plenty of hate not only for allegedly overacting following the strike, but posing with the belt and seemingly doing everything to avoid a rematch.
Sterling: You Have To Enforce Rules
But trolls aside, as far as he is concerned, Yan shouldn’t be getting another title fight in the first place. After all, he broke the rules.
“Any other sport when you do something intentionally illegal you get suspended, you get fined, you get ejected from the game,” Sterling said in a recent media scrum. “This guy is getting rewarded with a rematch, which I get is a big fight. But, it is like, we can just break the rules and nothing is ever going to happen to us. I can just jump the Octagon and nothing is going to happen to me, I can go and fight another corner or push him after the bell and nothing is ever going to happen. So it’s like, I feel like when you have rules for a reason and you have to enforce them or otherwise let’s just run it up.”
“… I feel his ass should have been suspended or something. Pay me something for an illegal foul that could take years off my career.”
Yan, on the other hand, feels he was punished adequately.
“Like I said I before, I was punished already for what I did,” Yan stated a few days after the fight. “I already lost the belt and the PPV points and whatever comes with becoming a champion.
“Everything happened because the referee told the commission that it was intentional. But, I didn’t throw it intentional. Now, the rematch is the only logic thing. The rematch has to happen next.”
Despite what both sides feel, a rematch definitely has to take place given the nature of the fight in which Yan was dominating for the most part.