Aljamain Sterling revealed he was knocked out by Zabit Magomedsharipov during training.
In an interview with TheScore, the UFC bantamweight contender described sparring with the Russian fighter for the first time.
Magomedsharipov is a top prospect in the weight class above Sterling. He is riding a 14-fight win streak and hasn’t lost a fight since 2013. He put his impressive skills into practice against the “Funkmaster”.
“I had one bad knockout in training, that was with Zabit,” Sterling said, “That was after I lost to [Raphael] Assuncao, back in February 2017. Dude, I didn’t know who the f*ck he was! I didn’t know how big he was. Mark Henry was telling me how light he was, ‘he’s only about 170.’ Okay, I’m about 162, I can go with him today, I was on the lighter side.”
Sterling later revealed he had footage of the video but is yet to release it.
“I never knew who he was; the guy is a f*cking ninja,” Sterling said. “He comes out throwing all these side kicks, these hook kicks, then the second round he throws a 360 round kick. I closed my eyes and ducked my head, and he kicks me, wraps around the back of my head. I didn’t go out, but I was definitely f*cked up. I didn’t see the kicking coming, and it landed flush on the back of my neck. I’ve got it on video, it’s pretty nasty. Hopefully, Mark Henry leaves that in the archives.”
Fortunately, the difference in weight class means Aljamain Sterling can avoid another kick to the back of the neck from Magomedsharipov inside the Octagon. At the moment, Sterling has other fish to fry as he prepares for an upcoming matchup on June 6. The bantamweight will face off against fellow 135-pound talent Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250 inside the UFC Apex centre in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of the fight will likely move onto the title shot.