Sterling took on vaunted grappler Augusto Mendes on Saturday, and worked his way to a unanimous decision win. The victory came at a pivotal time for Sterling, who was coming off back-to-back, split decision losses to fellow contenders Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assuncao.
Well, while discussing his strategy for the bout, the “Funk Master” had this to say afterwards (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“I realize judges don’t understand what the hell kicks are doing,” Sterling said. “So I threw a lot less kicks than what I’m really accustomed to, and I had to change my fight style to adapt to what the judges understand because of their lack of experience and lack of knowledge of the sport, and what leg kicks and what body kicks do.
“People can say that’s disrespectful. I don’t give a sh-t,” he added. “If you don’t know what the hell the martial arts are, why are you a judge? Now I’ve got to adapt my style because you’re not smart enough to comprehend what’s actually taking place in the octagon.”
Now, whether you believe the judges scored Sterling’s fights with Assuncao and Caraway wrong or not, there’s no doubt some judges need more schooling on the finer points of MMA. Those defeats took place in Colorado and Nevada, however, so it’s not like they went down in a jurisdiction where MMA was only recently sanctioned.
That aside, it will be interesting to see what comes next for Sterling. The latter is currently ranked #8 in the UFC’s 135 division.