Aljamain Sterling will try to keep the momentum going for the Serra-Longo Fight Team this Wednesday evening when he faces Hugo Viana at UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Miller.
Sterling (9-0) earned a victory over Cody Gibson in his Octagon debut earlier this year. Now, following a successful title defense by teammate Chris Weidman, and a victory for Eddie Gordon in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter, the 24-year-old sees this as a perfect time for the camp.
“The energy at the gym is at an all-time high,” said Sterling, during a recent interview with FightLine. “What can be better than that for us right now? An exciting title defense and the release of one of our juggernauts that finally got to show his true form during his TUF Finale win. It’s life-changing stuff and being around that only drives you more.”
Sterling, a native of New York, still can’t compete professionally in his home state. So, getting the chance to showcase his skills in nearby Atlantic City serves a dual purpose.
“I’m very excited. Fighting here in New Jersey is my home away from home,” he said. “For me, it’s just another day in the office. It’s sparring – with bad intentions. Being on TV, and getting paid for it. No big deal!”
After going the distance with Gibson in his debut with the UFC, Sterling has visualized many different outcomes to his bout with Viana. And while not all of them have started out well, he’s found a way to change that.
“I dream about every fight so much that it almost haunts me,” Sterling said. “I see the bad, but then I slow them down and figure out ways to change the outcome. I’m big on visualization, and on the law of attraction. I believe I work my (expletive) off and with a little luck, my dreams come to reality.
“Everything in training went as well as it possibly could. Like any sport, training for long periods of time leaves you with bumps and bruises here and there, but that comes with the territory.”
Sterling owns four submission wins to his credit, including three straight rear-naked choke finishes that led to his signing with the UFC. He has worked on breaking down tape of Viana, and sees one deciding factor determining the outcome.
“He seems to have really flexible shoulders, which could help wiggle out when I get back control,” Sterling said. “Besides that, nothing I don’t see in the gym every day. At the end of the day, it’s a fist-fight and in my opinion, I want this more than he does.
“I’ll be there for 15 minutes or less. It’s my time, my moment to shine and I won’t let him take this from me. If you think like an animal, you’ll do savage-like things.”
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has responded to comments made by challenger Chad Mendes following the cancellation of their planned rematch at UFC 176.
Aldo suffered an injury that knocked him out for several weeks and led to the cancellation of the entire pay-per-view as a whole. The two are expected to meet later this year, but Mendes wasn’t too pleased by the postponement.
The Brazilian, in a letter sent to Combate, addressed the comments made by Mendes. You can read the entire letter below:
I learned about the statements by Chad Mendes, and I have some doubts and questions for him. Regarding running away from him, I can only assume he’s calling me a coward. And that’s something that’s outside the realm of our sport of MMA. Which is why I will say this to him: you don’t know where I was born, what I went through to still be alive today, and where I came from. And seem to know next to nothing about my MMA career. But that’s OK; I’m guessing you might be a little confused.
I saw a statement in which you thought it was disrespectful for me to jump into the arms of my fans after knocking you out in Brazil. But wasn’t it you who, one week before calling me disrespectful, said that perhaps this time you’ll be the one running into the crowd as I did in Rio?
Concerning my injuries, maybe I have so many because I’m probably not taking the same ‘supplements’ you take. I have injuries because I work very hard to beat your ass as I did last time. And I think you remember well, and have nightmares about it to this day. I did all the necessary medical tests, but if now you are also a doctor, I can send the exams for you to evaluate. Maybe you could prescribe one of your supplements for me to get better faster?
Regarding how long I’ll stay idle, it is the doctors who will decide. He who gets beat up usually runs to avoid it a second time, but it’s no use running because I’m coming after you. Until the octagon gate slams shut, you can say whatever you want, because when it’s all said and done you won’t be able to open your mouth. So keep talking while you still can. And are you in charge of where I get to fight now? If that’s not the case, I don’t think Dana White would like seeing someone make decisions on his behalf.
Also I heard talk that you’d even fight for an interim belt. I guess you don’t want to wait for me, but that doesn’t make much sense because (Anthony) Pettis hasn’t fought since August of last year, due to injury, and we haven’t seen an interim lightweight belt. Cain (Velasquez) hasn’t fought since last October, and will only fight again in November. And as you well know, I already fought this year, in February (I beat Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169). There are still many months left until the end of this year and, even then, it would be less time than both Pettis and Cain have been inactive.
You seem most eager to only fight at home, and you refuse to fight me in Brazil. I got injured in Brazil before facing Frankie (Edgar) and I still went to Las Vegas to fight. I already fought there in your home (Sacramento) against your teacher (Urijah Faber); I fought in (Mark) Hominick ‘s home in front of 55,000 people; I fought in Japan, and in Europe. And you’re saying that you will be champion? A champion does not choose opponents or locations, so now I ask you who is the real COWARD?
UFC 174 main event fighter Ali Bagautinov has been suspended for a year following a failed post-fight drug test. Bagautinov was defeated by UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson at the June 14 event.
The British Columbia Athletic Commission released the results of the test to MMAjunkie.com, which showed Bagutinov (13-3) with erythropoietin in his system. He was one of eight fighters on the Canadian card to be tested along with Johnson and six others.
“Results received by this office from the June 2 tests on Mr. Bagautinov were positive for erythropoietin, or EPO – a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency,” BCAC Commissioner Dave Maedel said. “These results were not available prior to the UFC 174 event due to lab processing times. Mr. Bagautinov lost his bid for the flyweight title to Demetrious Johnson. I have suspended Mr. Bagautinov’s licence to compete in British Columbia for a period of one year.”
EPO controls the production of red blood cells and is considered a performance-enhancer in the world of sports. Lance Armstrong was found to have used the drug during his run to several Tour de France cycling titles.
Following news of the test results, the UFC released a statement, saying, “UFC 174 competitor Ali Bagautinov has been suspended by the British Columbia Athletic Commission for testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO). He was also informed that his positive test violated the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC.
“The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by our athletes. Bagautinov will serve a one-year suspension and must pass a drug test at the conclusion of his suspension before receiving clearance to compete in the UFC again.”
Jim Miller has been around the sport of MMA long enough to know that with each victory, a move closer to the top is secured. Wednesday night, Miller takes on Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC Fight Night.
Miller (24-4) is unbeaten in his last four, including back-to-back submission victories over Yancy Medeiros and Fabricio Camoes. With Cerrone, though, he has the chance to really put himself in the thick of things at lightweight.
“It keeps my career moving in the right direction,” said Miller, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “Donald is a tough opponent and those are the guys I’m looking to fight. I need to get the win and keep on rolling forward.”
After putting together a seven-fight win streak stretching from 2009-11, Miller was matched up with Benson Henderson. He lost via decision, halting any hopes of scoring his first title shot in the UFC.
“I was raking up fights pretty quickly. I’ve had 18 in under six years,” he said. “It’s a fast pace at this level of competition. I was fighting top competition and the training camps were catching up for me. I was getting banged up.”
With the chance to main event a show in New Jersey, and against an opponent as well known as “Cowboy,” Miller is embracing the opportunity to shine in the spotlight.
“I want to put on another dominant performance,” he said. “In the last two fights, my opponents didn’t get out of the first round. I’m looking to put him away early.”
The UFC returns to Japan later this year for UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama.
Taking a page out of the book of PRIDE FC, a nearly 30-minute video preview for the event has been released. And there’s only a handful of fights even announced for the September 20 card.
Check out both parts to the preview, along with the current lineup, below:
Heavyweight: Roy Nelson vs. Mark Hunt
Female Bantamweight: Miesha Tate vs. Rin Nakai
Flyweight: Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Chris Cariaso
Lightweight: Myles Jury vs. Takanori Gomi