3 reasons why UFC fans need to give Aljamain Sterling the respect he never got

EDITORIAL: Aljamain Sterling deserves our respect now more than ever.
Aljamain Sterling
Aljamain Sterling / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

It's no secret that former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye. I'm sure I'm the last person Sterling wants (or needs) to defend him. But here we are.

I've watched UFC fans continue to disrespect Sterling's career and I think right now is the best time for fans to get with the program and finally appreciate Sterling while they still have the chance.

Here are three reason why fans should suck it up and give him the props he deserves.

1. Aljamain Sterling's resume speaks for itself

Aljamain Sterling hadn't lost a fight since 2017. After his loss to Marlon Moraes he pulled up his bootstraps and went on a nine-fight win streak.

We all know that his first fight with Petr Yan didn't go as planned for either man, but the bottom line was that Yan landed an unquestionable illegal strike and that wasn't Sterling's fault.

I understood the hate after the Yan DQ to an extent but thought it would simmer after he legitimately defeated him, but it didn't.

Then I thought after he defeated former champion TJ Dillashaw the hate would go away ... unbelievably it increased. Sigh, MMA fans are so fickle.

But surely after he defeated an Olympic medalist and former champ-champ he would finally get the respect ... NOPE. Nothing changed even after he defeated Henry Cejudo.

But it should have. Instead, he was booed heading to the Octagon and had the crowd chanting "f**k you Aljo."


Sterling did nothing more than believe in himself and the fans ripped him for it.

2. Aljamain Sterling showed dignity in loss

We all know by now that Sterling was knocked out by Sean O'Malley at UFC 292. We have all seen it replayed to death and all props to O'Malley, it was impressive.

But how Sterling reacted to the loss, after all the disrespect, is quite impressive.

At no point did Sterling blame the UFC for the quick turnaround. At no point did he insult or disparrage O'Malley. In fact, he used his time on the mic to inspire and encourage the fans that were booing him to not give up on their dreams.

Thankfully it seems the fans are seeing this element of his game and finally giving him props for it.

And to top it all off, he invited the fans for a hangout on Sunday. No one would have blamed him if he wanted to stay in bed and cry away the loss.

3. Aljamain Sterling never cared if you liked him or not

This is going to sound hardh, but hear me out.

One of the biggest reasons why UFC fans should finally start respecting Sterling is because he never really cared about it to begin with.

He knew he wasn't getting the respect so he just learned to live with it.