Aljamain Sterling has explained what happened when he once trained with UFC featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov.
At this moment in time, Aljamain Sterling is on top of the world. He’s riding high as the UFC bantamweight champion and while he has plenty of tough challenges ahead of him, ‘Funk Master’ has done pretty well to hold onto his belt despite many believing Petr Yan would take it off him with relative ease.
Alas, as is the case with all champions in the UFC, things don’t always go Sterling’s way in training – and that was especially true when he came face to face with Zabit Magomedsharipov.
“He threw a 360 spinning ninja kick and wrapped the leg around my neck,” Sterling told Rogan. “I close my eyes. I’d never seen a ninja jump at me like that in a room ever. Like, I’m not in shape, Ray [Longo] asked me to jump in there with this guy, I didn’t know who the hell he was, but I felt like I was set up for failure. [LAUGHS]. He’s throwing sidekicks, he’s doing 360 ninja kicks. So I’m like yo, what in the f*** is going on?”
“And he’s a lot bigger than me. I mean, although he (competes at) ’45, I didn’t realize how big he was till he took his shirt off. And he’s doing these sidekicks from both sides. I’m shooting in, he’s pulling me in and hitting me with these judo throws, and I’m just getting ragdolled. I’m like, if I wanted to go up to ’45 at that point in my career, that would (the most) nightmare matchup ever. Like, me and Zabit would not go well. [LAUGHS]”
Quotes via MMA News
Zabit hasn’t fought since his win over Calvin Kattar in November 2019, whereas Sterling is expected to return to action later this year.