Aljamain Sterling has one less beef to worry about.
Following a week in which he became the first UFC champion to win a title by disqualification, Sterling found himself publicly fending off all manner of critics in the aftermath of his fight with Petr Yan at UFC 259. Yan was disqualified after landing an illegal knee on a grounded Sterling in the fourth round, resulting in him forfeiting his belt.
Surprisingly, Sterling’s longtime coach Matt Serra was one of the voices that took a shot at him. Serra was not in Sterling’s corner at UFC 259, though his Serra-Longo partner Ray Longo was along with Xtreme Couture coach Eric Nicksick. According to Serra, Sterling did not make it clear to him in the lead-up to the fight whether his services would be needed and he felt “a little disrespected.”
Serra also indicated that he was done with cornering altogether.
In a video released Tuesday, Serra released a statement clearing the air between himself and Sterling along with a caption reading “Myself & [Sterling] will always be cool.” A smiling Sterling also appears in the video and Serra vows to help Sterling in a presumed rematch with Yan, though he maintains that he is not working as a cornerman for the time being.
“Okay, so people have been giving Aljamain Sterling a lot of hate,” Serra said. “One, because of the knee and two, because they think he f*cking—me and him have some beef or something like that. It’s true, I’m stepping away from cornering for now—I ain’t cornering for a while, I’m spending time with the family, I’m not going away—but myself and the Funk Master are always gonna be cool.”
“I’m gonna help him defend this versus Petr Yan,” Serra continued. “We’re always cool. Petr Yan, he’s coming for you, buddy.”
Sterling also posted an image of himself and Serra on social media, writing, “In this together no matter what!”