After starting off his mixed martial arts (MMA) career 12-0, including winning his first four bouts under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner, Aljamain Sterling suffered back-to-back losses in his last two bouts.
The split-decision defeats to Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assuncao came after the highly-coveted prospect inked a “lucrative” contract extension with UFC, hurting his chances of making an immediate run at the bantamweight title.
So where did it all go wrong?
According to “Funkmaster,” he let the fans and the media dictate his fighting style, specifically for his bout against Assuncao.
“I’m not really a strike-heavy kind of guy, but I kind of let the media and fans play too much into my fight style preference for that fight, and I wanted to prove a point that I could stand up with anybody if I chose to,” Sterling recently told MMA Junkie.
For Sterling, straying from what got him to the big show ultimately proved to be a bad idea, as he isn’t exactly know not be a pure striker.
“I definitely did show some good glimpses of what I’m capable of doing in the training room,” said Sterling. “But, yeah, I had the media and fans get to me a little bit, and I tried to be more of a stand-up boxer. That’s not my thing, man.”
Sterling will look to end his skid when he takes on Augusto Mendes at UFC on FOX 24 on April 15 in Kansas City, Mo. And you can expect to see the old “Funkmaster” in action.
“You need to be true to yourself and do what got you there,” Sterling said. “That’s pretty much the theme for this fight camp, for myself and Weidman. Just doing what got us here, going back to the basics and using our wrestling arsenal that we’ve been gifted with and put a lot of hard work and years into.”
“I want this so bad. I never thought I’d see myself on this side of the fence, even though I always knew it was possible,” concluded Sterling, who mentioned training partner Chris Weidman, who also looks to break his own two-fight skid this weekend (Sat., April 8, 2017) at UFC 210 against Gegard Mousasi.
For much more on those two upcoming bouts click here and here.
Source:: mma mania