Former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub didn’t hold back his feelings about Dana White’s comments about Aljamain Sterling’s title defense.
The co-main event of UFC 273 saw Sterling defend his title against Petr Yan in a close split decision victory, which sparked debates across the MMA community about which fighter really won the fight. During the post-fight news conference, UFC president White said he scored the fight for Yan, siding with the dissenting official judge.
“I thought the judges blew that one,” White said. “I had it 3-2 (for Yan). I don’t know how you guys scored it. It’s all in however you score that first round.”
Schaub believes White’s comments after the fight will be the source of more hate for Sterling in the future, despite having to deal with backlash from the first meeting with Yan, and winning the fight outright in the rematch.
“Dana has so much power and when he says that, the sheep, for lack of a better word, the sheep go, ‘Dana said he didn’t win, he didn’t win,” Schaub said on The Schaub Show. “…I wish Dana would wait ’till he watched the fight like we saw the fight. Watch it a second or third time before you jump to that conclusion. Because by saying that, that gives everybody out there, the casuals, the MMA experts, especially on ESPN or if you work for UFC, now all of ’em go, ‘Yeah, Aljamain didn’t win that fight.’ Which isn’t true. It’s just not true. Nobody got cheated out of anything.”
Schaub offered his arguments for a 10-8 round in favor of Sterling. He then continued to focus his support for Sterling winning the fight based on the official judging criteria, which considers effective striking and grappling the first priority of assessment. Effective aggressiveness is the second tier, but should not be considered unless there is an advantage in the striking or grappling. Cage control is the last judging criteria, which should only be considered if all else is equal, but is a rare consideration.
“When you’re the president of the UFC, you have a responsibility,” Schaub said. “So, when you say the judges got it wrong on that one, well now you f*cked Aljamain Sterling over. Now you f*cked him. Because he beat the naysayers. He beat the haters. He shut everybody up. But now it resurfaces because the most powerful man in the UFC says he didn’t win that fight, which you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re wrong dude. And you f*cked your fighter over. Now he has to go back to the drawing board. He has to deal with more of this stupid f*cking hate. And why? Because he won three out of five? … Now you f*ck up the stock of Aljamain Sterling and you’re wrong, dude.
“Go back and watch it. Based off how the judges judge a fight, and if your only explanation to giving Petr Yan that first round is octagon control, well that’s the least important thing when it comes to judging. There’s other things that have to happen first, and Aljamain won those. So that would give him the first round, the second round, and the round clear as f*cking day.”