MMA fighting

Aljamain Sterling: ‘You should go to jail for taking steroids or EPO’ at UFC

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has again raised questions about rival Petr Yan and performance-enhancing drugs, saying he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the interim champion cheats.

“For me, I watch it the same way I watch TJ,” Sterling said on Monday. MMA hour. “When you hear rumors it’s like that. When there’s smoke there’s fire. I said that about TJ [Dillashaw] years ago, and it turns out years later that I was right.

“I’m not trying to smear Yan’s name, but there are a lot of guys in the UFC that I’ve competed against, and I just wouldn’t be surprised. Nothing surprises me anymore. You just learn to become numb to it.

Yan’s manager, Daniel Rubenstein, declined to comment on Sterling’s statement, which was part of a rant about the UFC’s anti-doping program administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The undisputed UFC bantamweight champion did not provide more specific information on interim champion Yan’s guilt, noting only that his suspicions were renewed by the postponement of their title unifier’s move from March to UFC 272 to April at UFC 273.

“Unless he’s taking some extra supplements, I don’t know, good old acai,” Sterling said.

Yan hasn’t failed any drug tests to date, but Sterling has repeatedly accused the interim champion of cheating. After an accusation on Twitter, Yan replied that the champion was “looking for another fake excuse”.

Yan recently said his fight with Sterling was moved because the UFC “doesn’t want” a “fake champion to headline the event.”

Sterling also criticized USADA’s handling of the 2019 case that stripped Dillashaw of the title and questioned whether their testing of foreign and domestic athletes was unbiased.

“It wasn’t even USADA that caught TJ – it was the New York Athletic Commission,” he said. “What are we paying USADA for? Is this just a facade to remove any responsibility, like saying “Hey man, it’s a third party we pay to test our guys, we have no responsibility for that.” Because I don’t understand.

“All these guys in these other countries, I don’t think they’re tested as much as we are, and I think, and people can tell me I’m crazy – I watched Icarus, I always had suspicions about things,” Sterling later added. “This sport was founded on the pride of ‘Yeah, I’m screwed, I’m a freak.’ Look back then and see what the people were like, the Sean Sherks, and I don’t mean to disparage anyone’s name, but we kind of know who’s who. The Belforts – we know what is going on.

“To try to tell me and convince me that people aren’t doing anything anymore, USADA can’t catch TJ Dillashaw, who was actually exposed by Cody Garbrandt at a press conference, and USADA can’t don’t think, ‘Huh, maybe we should look into that. Because Garbrandt said, ‘He was the one who showed the people in the gym how to do it.’ Nothing happened after that. But athletic status [commision] of New York catches TJ Dillashaw? So what are they doing?

Sterling also said USADA’s national testing leaves something to be desired. He said a USADA test last week may have been his first in months and included blood tests that he said were usually not necessary.

A USADA spokesperson tells MMA Fighting that it was the anti-doping agency’s findings that triggered Dillashaw’s suspension and pointed to a website that tracks all tests performed on UFC fighters. .

For Sterling, all of the alleged shortcomings were a serious problem in the regulation of the sport, one that made it easy for cheating fighters to get away with it.

“You should go to jail for doing steroids or EPO or any other type of shit like that in the UFC, in combat sports,” Sterling said. “You can literally revamp someone’s career, their livelihood by playing this contact sport. It’s not like playing basketball. You don’t throw a baseball into the crowd. We are dealing with life changing events when you step into the octagon. And people will say – the stupid ones – will say, ‘Well, nobody put a gun to your head and told you to do this.’ What? How is this a logical return to justify these actions? »

“We are not Lance Armstrong,” he later added. “We don’t ride bikes. We’re in a scary fight, and if you can be a little more aggressive, a little more on point, a little more composed, he’s a more dangerous person in my eyes. That shit should be jail time. It’s fucked up, bro.

Sterling said he would continue to speak out about the situation because of the moral issues at the heart of the use of performance-enhancing drugs in MMA.

“I’m still going to let it be known that you’re probably cheating,” he said. “Never mind, I’m still going to walk in with you and kick your ass.”