Aljamain Sterling has addressed the backlash from his recent photograph with controversial TikToker Andrew Tate.
The UFC bantamweight champion is currently in Abu Dhabi, preparing to defend his title against TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280.
But his fight week preparations took a bit of a knock after he accidentally created a social media storm by posting a picture of himself alongside former kickboxer Tate.
"Top G’s never die! Good chopping it up with you fellas," Aljo said in his Twitter caption.
Given Tate's rather controversial opinions, the sort of which that recently got him de-platformed across a bunch of social media channels, fans weren't best pleased to see Sterling 'chopping it up' with him.
One bloke commented: "You 'hanging' w/ someone whose values include misogyny & disbelief in mental health is disappointing."
While another added: "Another day another shamelessly right-wing adjacent MMA post."
As a third chimed in, simply saying: "Rare Aijo L."
On the other hand, though, others appeared to enjoy the unlikely link-up – Aussie UFC star Jake Matthews being one of them.
"F**k yes!!!" he replied.
Aljamain Sterling says he "never" blamed rape victims in follow-up tweets defending his hanging out with controversial figure Andrew Tate.— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) October 20, 2022
Full story: https://t.co/PFKTGq6H9C pic.twitter.com/AA0ooNRy15
After his post saw him cop a barrage of criticism from people online, Sterling was forced to defend his move during his pre-fight press conference.
“So I quote-tweeted somebody that said what everybody else was saying that they were coming down on me for, and I was agreeing with the tweet,” Sterling told the media.
“And I said, ‘You’re right. I 100 percent agree with you that Andrew Tate should not ever say that it is the responsibility of a victim.’ So people that were coming at me were completely wrong, and I was trying to explain that you misread the tweet and then they would show me the same tweet, and I would say you’re not understanding what I’m saying. You’re misreading the tweet, because I’m quoting and I’m agreeing. I am on your side.”
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@funkmasterMMA