Sterling compares post-UFC 259 treatment to ‘black women’ trope

Aljamain Sterling struggles to understand why exactly it’s so hard to believe he was rightfully hit by Petr Yan’s illegal knee to a fight-ending degree.

With UFC 273 around the corner, #KneeGate is about to be resolved and the feud between Sterling and Yan will finally have a sense of closure. But during fight week, the controversial ending to the first bout between Sterling and Yan was reshuffled ad naseum, just as it had been for the previous 13 months.

Overall, the UFC 259 encounter between Sterling and Yan was mostly competitive until it wasn’t anymore and Yan began to pull out of the fight. Then, in the fourth round, a knee changed everything.

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

After Yan took a knee to Aljamain Sterling, he would lose the Bantamweight Championship by disqualification after Sterling was deemed unable to continue. However, Sterling’s critics have repeatedly argued that he was faking the funk, if you will, and did it to escape Yan’s onslaught and claim victory.

In a recent in-depth interview on his YouTube channel, Sterling expressed bewilderment over how and why so many people are convinced that Yan’s knee could not have caused the fight-ending damage. He even compared it to an old trope about African American women’s pain tolerance.

“When they paint the background and the narrative that someone faked, that’s the worst. When they make it look like I legitimately faked it because they’re now officially doctors, and they’ve diagnosed multiple athletes and multiple concussions throughout their lives, they know what the symptoms of a concussion are cerebral, they know how compromised I am and how hurt I was.

“There’s this thing they used to say about black women. And I don’t want to talk about race, but they used to say that black women can endure a lot more pain than other people, so they would be treated differently. Why is that? So you say that, me – and again, it’s not about race – but it makes me wonder, for example, how does this situation for me make it any different for someone else? he had to be hit by the same type of hit that would affect them differently than it affects me? Meaning it would affect them more and I’m less affected and pretended?

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Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

“We all know what a knee strike is. We all know what a legal knee strike is. We all know the strikes you don’t see are the ones that do the most damage. So why is- what when it happens to me, it’s weird that it’s true? I don’t understand. You know what knee strikes do. You see me running headfirst into a knee with Marlon Moraes, like a light We see other people having wobbly legs, all that. But for some reason, for my particular situation, I faked it. Is it because I didn’t come out? You know what I mean? So it’s just like, where’s the context in that? Where’s the perspective in this type of situation where it’s like, now it makes sense? I can’t justify anything these people say. I can’t because it doesn’t make sense.

All debate and musings will soon be rendered obsolete when Sterling and Yan reunite at UFC 273. That’s when the one true bantamweight king will emerge and the conversation will be silenced.

What do you think of Aljamain Sterling’s thoughts on his critics’ doubts about the effects of Petr Yan’s illegal knee?

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