Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling recently addressed the UFC 296 ticket controversy that unfolded during the promotion’s final event of the year.
Sterling shared his disappointment and frustration after being turned away from the event due to unavailable tickets. Through his X account, he expressed his dismay which sparked criticism from numerous fans directed at the UFC for the mishap.
Taking to his YouTube channel, Sterling shed light on the sequence of events that led to his exclusion from the December 16 event. He revealed that he had submitted ticket requests for two occasions – the Apex event featuring Chris Gutierrez vs. Song Yadong and the confirmed UFC 296 – about two and a half weeks prior.
He said: “So, we go through this procedure, this channel to put in our ticket request either the fighter themselves directly or through management. I put my request in about two and a half weeks ago for two events; the Apex last weekend, Chris Gutierrez vs. Song Yadong, and for UFC 296 confirmed.”
UFC CEO Dana White said that Sterling’s tickets were obtained via a sponsor during the UFC 296 news conference. Sterling refuted the assertion.
Disputing White’s claim that his tickets were sponsored, Sterling clarified: “The only thing I didn’t really understand is someone sent me the clip of, I guess, Dana saying that the tickets were through a sponsor. I don’t know what that was about ’cause I’ve never had tickets from a sponsor for any of the UFC fights. I always go through the same exact channels every single time.”
Sterling confirmed the UFC’s subsequent attempt to rectify the situation by inviting him back to the T-Mobile Arena, but he declined the offer. He reasoned that by the time he could have returned to the arena and undergone security checks, only three bouts on the main card would have remained. As a result, he opted to watch the event at Flanker + Sports Bar instead.