After reviewing the unification fight between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan, the legendary referee John McCarthy, who had previously stated that the American fighter should never be given the first round, changed his mind on this matter.
“Honestly, I went back and re-watched the first round,” said “Big” John in the latest edition of his podcast. “I say this all the time – if you sit and watch a fight with friends, discussing what you see, do not think that you judge the fight correctly. Because the first time I watched it that way, but when I reviewed the first round as a judge, I concluded that it was very close – the round could be given in any direction. I understand why some people give this round to Aljo, and I see why this round can be given to Jan.”
“I won’t watch fights with friends anymore. My previous comment was wrong. I learned my lesson and my statement was wrong – the round could have gone either way. Looking at the fight as a whole, I think Sterling won.”
Recall that the bantamweight title fight, held on April 9 at UFC 273 in Jacksonville, went through all five rounds and ended in a split decision in favor of the American. At the same time, in fact, the first round became decisive, which determined the outcome of the fight.