Aljamain Sterling is having to defend himself from the haters.

Sterling is sitting on the sidelines right now while he heals up from neck surgery. While he is out, two men will be fighting for the interim belt. Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen will be faced off in the co-main event of UFC 267, and Sterling will be keeping a close on in the bout. The winner will get to face him next for the undisputed title, and it could easily be a rematch with Yan.

Since the first fight with Yan, Sterling has had to defend himself from some criticism. Since Sterling won the belt by way of disqualification, there were many people who have been critical. Now, Sterling is speaking out about one criticism, in particular, his wrestling.

“What I heard people saying is, ‘Oh, Yan was able to wrestle-fuck Sterling, so he’s gonna be able to do the same thing to Cory,” Sterling said on The MMA Hour. “I’m like, if you’re using that fight with myself and Yan as a rubric to see where Petr Yan’s wrestling is at, you are so far off that it’s not even comparable. If you think anyone can pick my ankle and I just fall on my butt like that and do a freakin’ turtle dance on my butt like I’m breakdancing—like I said, that was the worst performance of my life, the worst way I felt going into a fight.”

Coming into that title fight with Yan, Sterling had won five in a row, and two by submission. He is a former Division lll All American and has an intensive wrestling background.

“And again, if you think that’s a real assessment of my wrestling abilities, you don’t know shit about what you’re watching,” he said. “And if you think all the other wrestling exchanges that Petr Yan has, that’s what trumps that, you don’t know the sport.”

Sterling was supposed to be the one on the opposite side of the cage from Yan on Saturday night, but his lingering neck injury has kept him out. Unable to be cleared by the UFC doctors, Sterling is still putting in the work and will be ready to face the winner of the UFC 267 co-main. If Yan comes out the victor, Sterling will be ready to prove that he can beat Yan once again.

Do you think Sterling will be able to outwrestle Yan if they have the chance to fight again?

Continue Reading Sterling: If You Think Yan Can Outwrestle Me, You Don’t Know The Sport at MMA News.

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