Aljamain Sterling just competed against Kevin Dantzler in the main event of Fury Pro Grappling 8 and he’s made it very clear that he isn’t happy with the result. It was a largely uneventful match with neither man able to get much going against the other, and there wasn’t really much separating them in the end. The only notable moment from either man was when Dantzler attempted an armbar that Sterling escaped pretty quickly, but that ended up being enough for the judge’s to award him the decision win.
In his post-match interview, Sterling immediately complained about being on the losing end of the decision and about his opponent’s tactics:
“I don’t even know how they score that! Another man can’t drag his a** cheeks from the mat and think that’s a win, doing absolutely nothing. Yeah, the sport is Jiu-jitsu guys but I guarantee you if that was a street fight, my man would never do that sh**. You know what I mean? So why are we turning the sport into some type of weird spectacle where you can win a match off of your back, doing absolutely nothing?”
Although Sterling’s complaints are not entirely unreasonable, it’s not as if he was all that active himself. He tried exactly two tactics during the match, the first being to walk away from Dantzler and ask the referee to stand him up and the second being to sit heavy on his knees and gripfight tentatively. Sterling’s biggest moment in the entire match was a cartwheel pass attempt that ended with him in closed guard, and a flashy armbar escape. To his credit he seemed to accept that he couldn’t do much during the match, but he still had issue with his opponent:
“If I did nothing, what the f*ck did he do?!”
Draws were possible under the ruleset used at Fury Pro Grappling 8 so Aljamain Sterling could reasonably argue that the match should have gone that way, but it’s hard to see how he might think he won it. He went on to explain why he thinks that Dantzler should have been penalized though:
“Pull guard from standing up. Don’t just start the match on your butt. That should be deducted a point right out of the gate! Am I wrong? Am I wrong?! Never let another man drag you by your ankles in front of your loved ones and friends, because That is a disgrace!”
While it’s not unreasonable to argue that sitting to guard without grips should be penalized, this is not penalized in many professional grappling events. Sterling would have been well aware that this was a possibility during the match and he should have been prepared to engage in guard passing in that eventuality. This is a pretty common scenario in professional grappling and the onus is almost always on the standing competitor to engage with the grounded opponent, rather than being on the grounded competitor to stand up.
The post-match interview with Aljamain Sterling from Fury Pro Grappling 8 where he complained about losing the decision to Kevin Dantzler was uploaded to the official Twitter account of Combat Sports Today:
— Combat Sports Today 📰 (@CSTodayNews) December 31, 2023