Inaugural UFC flyweight champion and present ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix champion Demetrious Johnson spoke not too long ago with Mike Heck for MMA Combating, concerning the disqualification of Petr Yan for kneeing a downed Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 on March 6. Sterling grew to become the UFC bantamweight champion, the primary fighter in UFC historical past to win a title by DQ.
There can be an instantaneous rematch, however Sterling will not be impressed.
“Another sport if you do one thing deliberately unlawful you get suspended, you get fined, you get ejected from the sport. This man is getting rewarded with a rematch, which I get is an enormous struggle,” stated Sterling not too long ago, as transcribed by BJPenn.com. “However, it’s like, we are able to simply break the principles and nothing is ever going to occur to us. I can simply leap the Octagon and nothing goes to occur, I can go and struggle one other nook or push him after the bell and nothing is ever going to occur. It’s like, I really feel like when you may have guidelines for a cause and it’s important to implement them or in any other case let’s simply run it up. … I really feel like his ass ought to have been suspended or one thing. Pay me some cash for an unlawful foul which may take years off my profession.”
Johnson has one other tackle the incident – he argues that the rule on kneeing a downed fighter needs to be modified. That stance is fueled partially by a parallel expertise of his personal vs. John Dodson eight years in the past.
“Clearly guidelines are put into place to maintain the athletes secure and what not,” stated Johnson on the What the Heck podcast. “I handled the very same factor in 2013 in Chicago, UFC on FOX 6 towards John Dodson. I had him towards the cage, he put his hand on the bottom, I didn’t take the time to see his hand on the bottom and it’s not my job to look and see if his hand is on the bottom. In my view, he was in a knowledgable place that he may defend himself.
“I blast him in his face, John McCarthy stopped the struggle and stated, ‘Hey, dude. He was a downed opponent.’ I stated, ‘What the f*** do you imply he’s down? His finger is touching the bottom. He’s not down.’ So I’ve gone by way of this earlier than within the UFC.
“To see the identical factor occur with Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan, first off, I’m an enormous fan of Aljamain Sterling. I’ve nothing towards the man, however every time I give my private opinion—which you simply requested for—I like to take action as a impartial individual. If I had mates over my home and so they ask why he obtained DQ’d, effectively it’s a rule that he was a downed opponent, that he was on the bottom. Yeah, he’s down, however he can at the moment defend himself.”
“Do I feel it’s a rule that must be modified? I feel so. I feel it’s gonna assist the struggle progress, it’s gonna assist preserve folks transferring. The most important factor that my coach tells me is, ‘Why ought to an athlete go to his knees to the touch the bottom to dictate what I can and may’t do?’ Take into consideration that. When my coach trains me and tells me to have that mindset, it is sensible. If I’m getting beat up in a struggle, and I put my arms and knees on the bottom, it’s important to cease your onslaught. You need to rethink making an attempt to proceed with the struggle.
“That’s the place my mindset was at once I was watching that struggle as a result of the struggle was beginning to go in Yan’s favor. Petr Yan was beginning to choose him aside. Sterling obtained some good pictures in there, however as soon as he went down on his knees, and he was holding his arms on his knees like he was praying, and he obtained blasted. When it occurred, I used to be like, ‘Petr Yan, you f***in’ fool. You’re lastly successful the struggle and also you throw this knee and get disqualified.’ Then I’m like, it’s identical to again within the wrestling days if you get pinned and your coach says, ‘You shouldn’t have been there within the first place.’
“In order that was my opinion. Aljamain, you’re approach higher than that. Why are you placing your self in that place? However yeah, I feel the rule needs to be modified. It’ll be good for the game, it’ll open up much more issues, and I feel folks received’t use that place as a security. Like, I’m gonna use this as a result of I’m secure. And people aren’t my phrases. These are his phrases. He stated, ‘I knew I used to be in a secure place.’ When he stated that, I used to be like, you’re in a f***in’ struggle, you’re by no means in a secure place. It’s best to by no means suppose that I’m secure right here.”
One other level of rivalry is who ought to decide whether or not a fighter can proceed. At current the choice is made by the referee, usually in session with the cageside physician. Johnson argues it needs to be left to the fighter.
“I feel you need to let the athlete dictate that,” stated Johnson. “Solely the athlete is aware of finest. Take into consideration that, that knee, think about if he hit him with a flying knee and he was in a position to recuperate. Let’s say he obtained blasted flush, he shoots for a takedown and eats a few strikes, and he’s in a position to recuperate and proceed to struggle, however he will get blasted with a knee on the bottom, then he will get 5 minutes to drink some water, how are you feeling? Are you okay? Are you able to shake it off? You are feeling like you may nonetheless proceed? As a result of, don’t get me incorrect, that man obtained a concussion, however f***, when can we not get concussions after we struggle?
“That is simply my opinion. If I used to be in a struggle and I obtained blasted, I might need to be requested, ‘How do you’re feeling? Do you suppose you may proceed to struggle?’ They could say you shouldn’t give the athlete the choice to proceed as a result of he could possibly be concussed and he can get additional mind injury, however we’re already signing up for that. It’s a double-edged sword. You’re damned in case you do, and damned in case you don’t. It’s a tough factor. A number of of individuals would possibly see this and say you may’t ask a fighter if he can proceed or not. I don’t know, I’m simply rambling on.”
Johnson additionally supplied recommendation for Sterling within the rematch.
“I simply suppose, return to the drafting board,” stated Johnson. “He had the recipe to beat him. Petr Yan has a really fascinating and distinctive approach he goes about his fights, and I’m an enormous fan of the best way he goes about it. He’s keen to soak up punches and pictures with a view to give his. When you return and watch that struggle, Aljamain is doing job simply peppering him, however Petr Yan is like, ‘None of that s*** hurts.’ He covers his face another way, so there was a few instances the place if he simply sat down, loaded up on a physique shot, that might’ve paid dividends and made Petr Yan do one thing totally different.
“However I feel he ought to return and watch the tape, be able to have a struggle and don’t depend on that one takedown to get him down as a result of it’s not gonna be as straightforward as he thought it will’ve been. I believed it was gonna be laborious as s***.
“Go on the market, keep wholesome, and simply get pleasure from it.”
Johnson struggle ONE Championship flyweight titleholder Adriano Moraes in the principle occasion of ONE on TNT 1 on April 7.