Aljamain Sterling accuses Petr Yan of cheating at UFC 273

MMA rules are often open to interpretation and perhaps even more so when Aljamain Sterling is involved.

Sterling got notoriously famous for becoming the first UFC champion that won the title via disqualification after his opponent, Petr Yan, landed an illegal knee during UFC 259.

Recently, Sterling rematched Petr Yan and beat him by split decision in UFC 273’s co-main event. “Aljo” can finally be considered an “undisputed” champion despite many observers and UFC president Dana White scoring the clash in Petr Yan’s favor.

Sterling looked significantly better in the rematch. Despite being outclassed in their first meeting, the American was able to impose his grappling-heavy gameplan and dominate Yan for the first three rounds.

With a favorable result, one would think that Sterling had nothing to complain about – but it seems he still found something to begrudge Yan.

“Aljo” stated that Yan was utilizing dirty moves during their clash.

According to the bantamweight champion, Yan was pouring water all over himself in between rounds, in order to become more slippery, and harder to control on the ground.

“For round four, I took him down and they didn’t score my takedown and I jumped his back,” Sterling told MMA Junkie after the fight. “I shouldn’t have done that. I should’ve just broken him down regularly and not be cool and get style points, which I want to get style points, but you know, we’re slippery.”

“He did pour a lot of water on his head in between those rounds, which I don’t even know… That’s not legal. I don’t know how they didn’t dry him off. But I slipped off the top and I accepted the bottom position instead of trying to get up. I could have gotten up.”

Sterling is already thinking about a possible next opponent for him. Right after his last fight, the champion challenged TJ Dillashaw to a fight. Later the Featherweight great Jose Aldo also issued a public challenge for Sterling’s belt.

It’s safe to say that the champion will not have an easy road ahead of him. Both Jose Aldo and TJ Dillashaw are former UFC champions and both share the quality of being uniquely difficult to take down, raising an interesting question of how Sterling could implement his game plan against them.