Former UFC champ Aljamain Sterling livid after losing grappling match to butt scooter: Never let another man drag you by your ankles

Former UFC bantamweight titleholder Aljamain Sterling expressed disappointment with the scoring system following his recent defeat to Kevin Dantzler in a grappling contest.

After losing the UFC bantamweight title to Sean O’Malley at UFC 292, Sterling made his return to competition in a grappling match at Fury Pro 8 on December 30. Having previously secured a victory against Mike Grundy at Polaris 25 in September 2023, Sterling aimed to win another grappling bout against Dantzler.

Despite competing in the 135-pound weight class in the UFC, the grappling match with Dantzler occurred at 160 pounds. Also, Sterling seemed physically larger. Throughout the match, Sterling displayed dominance in most exchanges. However, the judges favored Dantzler in their scoring.

Voicing his dissatisfaction, Sterling strongly contested the decision. In an interview with MMA journalist John Morgan, he questioned the credibility of the scoring system.

He expressed frustration, stating: “I didn’t even know how they score that! Another man can’t drag his a** cheeks from the mat and that’s a win, doing absolutely nothing. Yeah, the sport is Jiu-jitsu guys. But I guarantee you if that was a str  eet fight, my man wouldn’t do that sh**. So why are we turning the sport into some type of weird spectacle where you can win a match off of your back, doing absolutely nothing?”

Criticizing Dantzler’s approach, Sterling highlighted the tactic of pulling guard from a standing position. He emphasized, “Pull guard from standing up. Don’t just start the match on your butt. That should be deducted a point right out of the gate! Never let another man drag you by your ankles in front of your loved ones and friends! That is a disgrace!”

Having primarily competed in the bantamweight division, Sterling’s only featherweight appearance dates back to 2011. This is when he secured a victory against Evan Chmielski via TKO.

Following the loss to Sean O’Malley, Sterling made the decision to transition to featherweight. His debut at 145 pounds is scheduled against the 7th-ranked Calvin Kattar at UFC 300 on April 13, 2024.

While speculation linked Sterling’s move to featherweight to a potential conflict with teammate Merab Dvalishvili, Sterling clarified that the shift was inevitable. He had previously expressed challenges in maintaining the bantamweight limit.