Aljamain Sterling leans into ‘actor’ label and poses with UFC title, calls to ‘run it back’ with Petr Yan

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Aljamain Sterling appears ready to steer into the skid a little more than a week removed from his controversial UFC title win.

Sterling (20-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) has received a severe amount of negative feedback from a portion of fans in the aftermath of becoming the first fighter in UFC history to win a title by disqualification. The bantamweight belt changed hands at UFC 259 after Petr Yan (15-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) hit Sterling with an illegal knee while he was downed, and the fight could not continue.

Despite the fact Yan was at fault for breaking the rules, Sterling has been the one getting attacked, with claims he embellished the severity of Yan’s knee and is therefore not a legitimate champion. He’s publicly stated he does not feel like a “true” champion, but it seems now his demeanor could be taking a turn.

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Sterling shared an image of himself holding the UFC belt on his own social media for the first time since the fight on Monday, along with a meme holding an Oscar trophy. Moreover, his caption antagonized those calling him an “actor” (via Instagram):

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Some say he’s an actor. Some say he’s the champ! Run it back!

The final portion of Sterling’s caption is the most newsworthy part of his post. He’s said multiple times that an immediate rematch with Yan is the most logical next move given what happened at UFC 259, and he doesn’t appear to be straying away from that as time goes on.