Aljamain Sterling successfully defended his bantamweight title at UFC 280 by defeating two-time champion TJ Dillashaw who reportedly came into the event injured unbeknownst to UFC.
Sterling spoke on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani after retaining his bantamweight title to talk about his most recent defense. During the talk, Sterling disclosed that his Saturday payment had increased the balance in his bank account to almost $1 million.
“My bank account, I finally hit a million dollars comfortably with my three houses and all my other investments, not including those. I’m quite proud of myself for violating that so blatantly. I’m glad to claim that I’ve played in a sport where the pay scale isn’t the most outrageous, even if it may not be anything to boast about to other sports. Purchase a home for my mother and a home for myself.
“Where I’m at, I’m in a very good place in my life and thankfully it’s because of Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] and those guys. Lorenzo [Fertitta]. All those guys because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have this platform to do this.”
Aljamain Sterling entered the co-main event with limited fan support due to the controversy of his most recent bouts with previous champion Petr Yan. Sterling stopped Dillashaw in the second round via TKO, but not without stirring up more controversy.
Dillashaw looked hurt in the first round when Aljamain Sterling took him down. After the first five minutes, Dillashaw looked to have dislocated his shoulder. After seeming to pop the shoulder back into place, Dillashaw returned to the game prepared to go on.
However, a short while later, the injury reappeared. It was only a matter of time until Sterling took advantage of the situation and prompted the referee to step in and order a stoppage.
Aljamain Sterling hasn’t really given his next major fight much consideration. However, he didn’t accept the judges’ verdicts in the Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan bout at UFC 280 last weekend.
“Honestly Ariel, if I’m being honest, I haven’t even thought about it. I literally tweeted to O’Malley last night or two nights ago that I would have actually hung out with the guy. I actually felt bad for Yan. I felt like he got robbed.”
“I think O’Malley was a little shocked and perplexed at the decision as well. Kind of caught him off guard that it was a split decision. It caught him even more off guard when he won and now he knows what it feels like when I was in the same position.”
Regardless of who it is, Aljamain Sterling is more than willing to take on everyone and disprove the critics.
“At the end of the day man, this is the most competitive division. People are going to find any way to discredit me. I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing, racking up these numbers. The W’s won’t lie when you go back and look at the history books.”
Aljamain Sterling identified Cory Sandhagen, Marlon Vera, Sean O’Malley, and Petr Yan as possible opponents for his next world title defense.