Aljamain Sterling believes MMA fans will get to see the best version of him at featherweight.
‘Funk Master’ secured the UFC bantamweight title by a disqualification at UFC 259, and defended it three times, against Petr Yan, TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo, before losing it to Sean O’Malley at UFC 292.
After the loss, Sterling made his long-awaited move to the featherweight division, where he is scheduled to lock horns with Calvin Kattar at UFC 300.
During an interview with Ariel Helwani on ‘The MMA Hour’, Sterling talked about his struggles with cutting down to the 135-pound weight class, and how a featherweight move benefits him.
“Just the thought of it gives me a headache and makes me nauseous,” Sterling said. “Like, people tell me I wear it well and I don’t look like I’m hurting, ‘Oh, you had such a great weight cut.’ I’m like, I am literally dying inside. I could poker face it all I want, because mentally, that’s just the way I’ve always been. It’s like, you don’t show weakness in that way. You always try to show people that you’re good even when you’re not.
“But I know I’ve been hurting for a very, very long time. And I even think my past performances have kind of not been the best of me because of that. I just think I lose a little bit of myself and leave a little bit of myself in the gym. Cardio-wise, I don’t have the same output as I used to. And I’m kind of excited to just see what that’s going to look like at ‘45 and see if I can get back to that — that guy who’s in between rounds and is able to talk to the fans and yell to the crowd, and just show I’m full of energy and I’m ready to go.”
Will Aljamain Sterling put his money where his mouth is?