Speaking on Submission Radio, 'Funk Master' weighed in on the respect and appreciation he has been receiving from fans after solidifying his status as the true 135-pound champion in his rematch against Petr Yan in April. Here's what Sterling said:
"Honestly, if I'm being brutally honest, I really don't care what people think about me. People are going to think whatever they want to think regardless of what you say. I think the buildup of the past 13 months, leading up to that fight, that rematch, I kind of solidified that for me in my head. I already knew that but even after the fight, just leading up to that, I was like, 'Man, this just really signifies how people are.'"
"Once there's a narrative, you're painted as a bad guy or the good guy, [it] doesn't matter. People's minds won't change unless they want it to change for themselves. Can't live for other people, you gotta live for yourself."
Watch Aljamain Sterling's full interview on Submission Radio below:
Aljamain Sterling could soon move up in weight class
Aljamain Sterling is gearing up to make the second defense of his bantamweight title against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 280 on October 22. However, it appears that 'Funk Master' doesn't see himself having a long run as the 135-pound champion.
Responding to a fan on Twitter earlier this year, Sterling stated that he could potentially move up in weight class in the near future. The champion explained that this is to allow his teammate Merab Dvalishvili to have his shot at the bantamweight gold. Sterling wrote:
"After Merab’s next win, I will probably have to move up, to allow him his chance that he earned, to make history for Georgia 🇬🇪 to win a world title. We will figure it out."
Dvalishvili went on to pick up a decision win over Jose Aldo in August and could soon find himself in the title picture. 'The Machine' is currently ranked at No.3 in the divisional rankings, just behind Sterling's next opponent.
It now remains to be seen if Sterling can retain his title when he takes on the former champion in Abu Dhabi later this month.