Cory Sandhagen explained why UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling should not get stripped of the 135lbs title he won earlier this year.
Sterling won the UFC bantamweight title earlier this year with a fourth-round DQ victory over Petr Yan. Because the ending of the fight was so controversial, the UFC quickly booked an immediate rematch, and the two rivals were set to square off at UFC 267. However, Sterling was forced to withdraw from the fight due to lingering injuries. Instead of Yan fighting Sterling for the undisputed title, Yan will stay on the card and take on top contender Sandhagen instead, with the interim UFC bantamweight title on the line.
Speaking to MMA reporter James Lynch of Fanatics View, Sandhagen explained why he is okay with the UFC’s decision to create an interim title and not strip Sterling of his belt despite pulling out of UFC 267.
"I don't think he should get stripped … but I do think the way he handled his last (fight) … people don't have a lot of respect for"
Cory Sandhagen on fans wanting Aljamain Sterling's UFC 135lb title stripped
— James Lynch (@LynchOnSports) October 5, 2021
“I mean, to be completely fair with you, I don’t think he should get stripped. I don’t really agree with that. But I do think that your actions have consequences, and the way that he handled his (win over Yan) is a way that I don’t think a lot of people don’t have respect for. So he’s not making too many allies. He’s not too making too many allies in the way that he handled that. So that’s on him. If he would have maybe gone about acting in a more reasonable way and kind of not playing the heel, then I think more people would have been on his side. But because he decided to act the way that he was acting, that’s kind of the consequences of your actions,” Sandhagen said about fans calling for the UFC to strip Sterling’s belt.
Sandhagen will step into the cage at UFC 267 later this month against Yan, with the winner likely facing Sterling sometime in early 2022 in a title unification bout.
Do you agree with Cory Sandhagen that Aljamain Sterling should not be stripped of his title?