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Sterling bounces back, ending Johns' undefeated streak (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Local Athletes

Long Island’s Aljamain Sterling wins big at UFC Atlantic City

The 28-year old is now 3-1 in the UFC since late 2017, and 15-3 overall in MMA

Moments after his coach Matt Serra was announced as the latest inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame, Long Island’s Aljamain Sterling stepped into the octagon, hoping to make his coach proud. After a tremendous outing in which his grapple game was strong, Sterling did just that, walking out of Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey victorious.

In front of family and friends, Sterling (15-3) broke Brett Johns’ undefeated streak with a unanimous decision win (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night 128.

Fighting out of Uniondale, Sterling was looking to make a statement after Marlon Moraes knocked him out cold back at UFC Fight Night 123. Sterling was cautious to start the fight, but Johns (15-1) never got any true momentum. Sterling put Johns up against the cage numerous times early on, before delving deep into his arsenal and controlling the ground game.

As the second round began, Sterling used his punches to throw Johns off. While Johns tried to apply pressure in the third round, Sterling was just beaming with energy. Body kicks and grappling efforts by Sterling were too much for Johns to handle. As the fight came to a close, Sterling held on and applied enough pressure in order to avoid a Johns comeback.

After the fight, Sterling claimed he is the man to beat in the UFC, while also calling out a new potential challenger.

“This fight was to let everyone know I’m still here and I’m one of the best bantamweights in the world. There’s a guy I look up to, but there’s a time when your idols become your rivals. Dominick Cruz, let’s do this.”

While he didn’t truly finish Johns the way he was hoping to, Sterling gave it his all. The energy he displayed after the win was indescribable. Dancing and slapping hands in front of media row, Sterling didn’t even let a hostile Atlantic City crowd (fighting one another multiple times throughout the event) affect him. He is now 3-1 since late 2017, giving him a case to become a true contender.

With a stacked bantamweight division filled with enough talent to last a lifetime, Aljamain Sterling is looking to stand out from the pack. A convincing win against Johns will do just that. Watch out folks, the “Funk Master” is coming for that holy grail they call a title.

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel is a Managing Editor at DoubleGSports.com, and covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). He is also the lead New York Mets writer. When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a Sunday podcast, The Main Event.
Daniel Yanofsky

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