Sterling Says Being The Heel In Yan Feud Was Exhausting

MMA news

UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling is happy to finally lay to rest his role as the heel in his feud with Petr Yan.

When the moment finally came to prove who was the best, Sterling came out the victor against Yan in their highly anticipated rematch and the one chance he had to end the avalanche of criticism he faced from UFC 259.

Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan
Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan, Photo Credit: Zuffa LLC

Sterling received a lot of hate after his controversial first win against Yan. And much of it stemmed from pictures of the champion supposedly celebrating his win.

However, Sterling has always denied those allegations. He claims the celebratory pictures were taken out of context, and he was in no mood to really participate in the party.

Sterling took to his own Youtube channel, FunkMasterMMA, to explain the truth behind the photos.

“Remember, I didn’t take pictures after the fight, my friends did. Remember, I didn’t drink after the fight, my friends did. I was throwing up after the fight. I had a headache. I had a freakin’ concussion, and then people took that picture, the pictures from Marab and everybody else and spun it and said I was celebrating. And then the tune changed and then I was defending myself. I’m like, ‘Why am I defending myself to people that aren’t even listening?’”

If you can’t beat them, join them, as the saying goes. And that is exactly what Sterling did. He posted multiple videos mocking Yan and the illegal move that ended their first match.

Aljamain Sterling
Aljamain Sterling, Photo Credit: Twitter

And although it was fun at times, creating the ‘MMA Rule Book For Dummies’ and exchanging insults on Twitter, it was also extremely tiring.

“So, whatever, at that point, I was like I’ll be the heel. You want me to be the bad guy? I’ll play the bad guy. But to play the bad guy is exhausting, cause you gotta actually work at it. I like being the bad guy on my own terms like I like to have fun while being the bad guy not just being a straight-up bad guy and trying to script and think of things.

“I don’t want to do all that. I’d rather just try to be at my normal witty self whenever I can. I’m not the wittiest guy but normal witty self and if I wanna take a stab at you, take a stab at you and that’s it. I’m just being me. I don’t need to force anything. But playing the heel, it was kinda fun, like playing up a little bit doing the WWE thing with the Undertaker with the hoodie on and doing this. It was fun, but again, it’s exhausting. I’d rather just be me. It’s a lot easier,” Sterling continued.

Now that he has defended the championship belt, Sterling no longer feels the need to act out of character. Perhaps now he can be himself and focus on his next title defense, which will likely be against TJ Dillashaw.

What are your thoughts on Aljamain Sterling being the bad guy in his feud with Yan?

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