Aljamain Sterling, the renowned mixed martial artist, is geared up for a new chapter in his career. He recently confirmed his official exit from the 135-pound division, and he's more than ready to make his mark in the featherweight category. In a revealing chat with Ariel Helwani on "The MMA Hour" aired by MMAFighting, Sterling shared his optimism about his future and his conviction that his best performances are yet to unfold.
Reflecting on his journey, Sterling candidly discussed the challenges he encountered while competing in the bantamweight limit. He confessed, "Just the thought of it gives me a headache and makes me nauseous. Even though people tell me I wear it well, and they think I had a great weight cut, I was literally suffering inside."
Sterling's mantra has always been not to show his weaknesses. Hence, he would always put on a brave face, even when he was not feeling his best. "You always try to show people that you're good even when you're not," he explained.
Sterling acknowledges that his past performances in the bantamweight division may not have showcased his true potential due to the strain of the weight cut. He explained, "I know I've been hurting for a very, very long time. And I even think my past performances have kind of not been the best of me because of that."
He confessed that the burden of maintaining the bantamweight limit led to him "losing a little bit of myself and leaving a little bit of myself in the gym." Sterling admitted that he didn't have the same cardio output as he used to.
However, Sterling is excited about his future in the featherweight division. He's eager to see how his performances would evolve. "I'm kind of excited to just see what that's going to look like at ‘45 and see if I can get back to that — that guy who’s in between rounds and is able to talk to the fans and yell to the crowd, and just show I’m full of energy and I’m ready to go," Sterling said with enthusiasm.
So, as we watch Sterling embark on this new journey in the featherweight division, we can expect to see a more energized and powerful version of the fighter. His fans eagerly await to see the full extent of Sterling's potential unleashed in the ring.