Saturday night, Petr Yan faced off with Aljamain Sterling during one of UFC 259's three title fights. The fight ended in a controversial fashion after Yan kneed Sterling in the head when he was downed. Several fighters weighed in, including former two-time bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who criticized Sterling.
"And the Oscar goes to [Fake Master] for Best Actor in a Title Fight and Petr Yan needs a crash course in the rules of the sport he was once champion in. Hey Petr now you’re a cheater too, b—," Dillashaw tweeted on Saturday night. This comment sparked a strong response from several people on social media. Some agreed, while others took issue with the former champion's tweet.
Sterling was among the latter group, and he did not hold back when responding to his peer. "You cheated your entire UFC career and you have the balls to call someone an actor? You lost your manhood when you decided to inject yourself so that you actually compete. I hope Sandhagen tools like he did to you in practices before," Sterling fired back.
The comment about cheating stems from a 2019 incident. Dillashaw announced on Instagram that he was relinquishing his title due to an issue with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC). The two agencies confirmed that Dillashaw had failed a drug test.
"The New York State Athletic Commission issued a one-year suspension and a $10 thousand fine to Mr. Dillashaw for violations relating to use of a prohibited substance," a statement from NYSAC said. "We have no further comment." The agency did not reveal any more information about the substance. Two years prior, Dillashaw's former training partner, Cody Garbrandt, accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Garbrandt was one of the many fighters speaking out after the historic event. This event marked the first time in UFC history that a title changed hands due to disqualification. He asked why they interviewed Sterling if he was "concussed." Similarly, now-retired champion Henry Cejudo tweeted out a photo of Sterling holding an Oscar and called out his "acting."
"He got concussed and he couldn't fight but he could conduct a full a— interview and tweet after... this is why an Olympic gold medal is greatest accomplishment an athlete could do! But hey [Aljamain Sterling] at least you know you could make it Hollywood. And I’m not evening hating," Cejudo tweeted.