The “Funk Master” is coming off arguably the biggest win of his career, outpointing Petr Yan during UFC 273 on April 9 to unify the 135-pound strap. It was an important victory for Sterling as many in the MMA community viewed his title reign as illegitimate considering he won the belt from “No Mercy” via disqualification a year prior.
In the judges’ eyes, Sterling did enough in their second fight to hoist gold once again, winning via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47). The Funk Master clearly took the second and third rounds whereas Yan won the final two frames. The fight came down to round one, and two judges saw it Sterling’s way.
One person who didn’t score the fight for Sterling was the UFC president. During the UFC 273 post-fight press conference, White said: “I thought that the judges blew that one. I had it 3-2 the other way. I don’t know how you guys scored it. I guess it’s all in how you score that first round.”
Well, the bantamweight champion isn’t happy with White’s comments, and he shared his feelings about the UFC president during a recent interview with BJPenn.com.
“Dana’s always going to be throwing dirt on my name, that’s just what he does,” Sterling said. “I think he has Yan rated so highly, he’s such a dangerous guy, and to have the grappler do that to him, he was really, really shocked. Especially after the first fight because he probably thought I had no chance in hell of winning that fight either.
“Sucks to be him right now in the sense of you really wrote me off after everything you have seen me do in this sport, in his organization, it’s a slap in the face but at the end of the day, it doesn’t bother me. I think it bothers him more, clearly because he doesn’t know how to judge a fight, which it shows. I think he maybe let his emotions get ahead of him and that’s probably it. He was probably really invested in Yan winning that fight and I threw a monkey wrench into their plans.”
Sterling Says White ‘Doesn’t Like Grapplers Like That’
According to the bantamweight champion, the UFC president isn’t fond of grappling-based fighters, unless they’re ex-lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“It’s happened in the past, more so the business aspect of things,” Sterling continued. “When it comes to outside of the Octagon whenever we have talked it is super cordial, I’m super polite, he’s super polite and he’s always nice to me. We have always had good conversations but when it comes to the fights he doesn’t really like grapplers like that unless you are Khabib.”
Sterling Is Unbeaten Since 2017, He’s 9-1 in His Last 10 Fights
After beating Yan for the second time, Sterling improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 21-3.
He’s now 9-1 in his last 10 fights and he hasn’t tasted defeat since getting knocked out by Marlon Moraes in 2017. He holds wins over notable names like Cory Sandhagen, Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera.