UFC 288 was a defining moment for Aljamain Sterling. Not only did he defend the undisputed bantamweight title for a third time, but he did it against a former double-champion in Henry Cejudo.
Yet, fans still seem to refuse to be onboard the “Funkmaster” train. Sterling was even booed during his Octagon interview by his supposed home crowd, with Newark being a mere hour and a half drive from his hometown of Long Island.
Aljamain Sterling does warrant respect, and UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier is demanding it from fans.
Daniel Cormier demands respect for Aljamain Sterling
In a recent video he uploaded on his YouTube channel, Cormier addressed a few things right from the broadcast booth after the event. Among them is the crowd’s lack of respect for Sterling.
“Guys, stop booing Aljamain. Give this man his respect. This dude is doing everything you want as a champion. He’s active. He fights the best guys that they put in front of him. He wins fights. He carries himself in a way of a champion. It’s time to stop booing Aljamain Sterling.”
Cormier sees no logic behind the hate, given Aljo’s accomplishments.
“It sucks that this happens time and time again, and in Newark, New Jersey, which is very close to New York. Aljo’s getting booed. It really made no sense.
“ I don’t know what this man has to do in order to garner your respect,” he added. “If tonight wasn’t enough, you’re just never gonna be satisfied.”
Sterling ‘feels good to be the king’
From his end, the reigning bantamweight king is on top of the world at the moment, and he is rightfully relishing in it. And he is also calling on fans to appreciate him and what he does.
“It feels good to be the king,” Sterling told Ariel Helwani in his Monday appearance on The MMA Hour. “And at the end of the day, I feel like people need to just get over it and realize, like, that first Yan fight was such a thing in the past. We are here now.
“Look at everything I’ve done now. Look at all the things I’ve done in the past. And look at the body of work and appreciate that for what it is, ‘cause when I’m done, man, you guys are gonna be like, ‘Oh, that guy was actually a lot better than what we actually thought.’”
For Aljamain Sterling, beating a fighter of Cejudo’s caliber and reputation proves more than enough.
“You watch these other guys, you see how competitively close it is. I just beat who people were dubbing as the greatest combat athlete of all-time. So what does that make me?
“Guys, it’s just time to get used to this face, ‘cause we ain’t going nowhere, baby.”
Sterling also set a new UFC record for the most number of bantamweight title defenses, as he improves to a win-loss slate of 23-3.
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