by Dane McGuire
UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has offered a statement concerning his withdrawal from a planned UFC 267 rematch with Petr Yan.
Sterling clarified he is not injured but had not been medically cleared due to issues from a previous neck injury including nerve issues. Sterling said in a statement posted to Instagram:
“Let’s clear the air today. I am NOT injured for my real fans, family, and friends that are asking/wondering. To the haters, trying to take away my attention from my teammate, @merab.dvalishvili, to talk about myself and my situation isn’t what I wanted to do.
Merab looked amazing on Saturday night and had a wicked performance! My situation is complicated. It’s the neck that we’re talking about! This is the BEST I’ve ever felt, waking up in the morning and being able to live life pain-free from nerve issues that’s I’ve had for 10+ years now.
As always, I like to share the truth and be transparent with my fan base that actually give a shit about fighters health. Training has been going well but I’ve been struggling to get my body to push pass 2 RDs in sparring sessions. The fatigue that sets in and the cramping still lingers, which my surgeon said is due to the nerves still recovering from the long-term trauma, and surgery I just had. Nothing I can do about that, other than show up in another shell of myself and risk wasting the surgery and maybe getting severely hurt!!
I originally wanted to fight in December but the plans were pushed up earlier. Unfortunately, my body isn’t agreeing with me and I asked for an extension and asked for Petr Yan to wait, so that I will be the first man in the UFC to beat his ass.
I flew in @adrianyanez93 to help with training looks. I want to see how this week goes and see if overtraining was the real issue for all the fatigue, since I was playing physical “catch-up” for fighting much sooner than expected. I will discuss this more on my podcast today @theweeklyscraps. But here’s a quick version of what I’m dealing with. Thankfully the @UFC team understands how serious spine surgery can be and are allowing me the extra time to get my body right so that there are NO EXCUSES when I fight again.
#GOMD #RentsDue#UnfinishedBusiness#TheWeeklyScraps! #FunkBandits”
Yan remains on the card. A possible interim title is currently being discussed with Cory Sandhagen
In response to Sterling, Yan said in an Instagram post translated by RT Sport: “You all know that ‘Aljo’ just ran away like a sneaky coward. Here is what I would like to say: I am not going to sit and wait for him. I am going to fight on Oct. 30 in Abu Dhabi, and I would like to address the UFC. UFC, give me any fighter. Top five, top seven, top 10, anyone who deserves to fight for the belt, and I will get the job done. I’ll show you here who really is champ.”
UFC 267 takes place Oct. 30 at Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.