Aljamain Sterling says he is a big fan of UFC icon Khabib Nurmagomedov as he braces for Petr Yan fight
The only thing standing between him and UFC gold is the champion, Petr Yan. The Russian has dominated the 125 lbs. weight class.
He is yet to be defeated in the promotion and his last loss came all the way back in March 2016. But ‘Funk Master’ has a trick up his sleeve.
The master grappler says he bases his game on Khabib Nurmagomedov, arguably the greatest fighter the promotion has seen.
In an interview with RT Sport, Sterling shared how he prides himself on his grappling, an art which Nurmagomedov mastered to perfection.
“Oh yeah, I look up to Khabib. Khabib’s a big inspiration to my style and helping me understand that, yeah, a fight can be on the feet, but when you’re good at something, stick to what you’re good at.”
Aljamain Sterling shares how UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov inspires him
The bantamweight title contender then added how he looks up to ‘The Eagle’ to master the art of ‘relentless pressure’. Khabib is, after all, the greatest offensive grappler the game has seen so far.
“I look at Khabib, and that style is relentless pressure, it’s really hard to stop a guy like that. Wrestling is a grinding mentality. If you don’t know how to deal with that grind, it can wear on you, it’s uncomfortable and it keeps you guessing and it dictates the pace of the fight and the tempo. If he’s not putting you away, eventually you’re going to grab that guy down. Especially if you’re a good grappler, like Khabib or myself. I pride myself on that.”
It seems like Sterling would have to rely on highlight reels in order to study more of Khabib as there seems little no chance of him making a comeback to MMA now.
The Russian had already retired at UFC 254 after extending his winning streak to 29 but an official decision is expected to come soon.
In his absence, the division has a plethora of possibilities. While there have been suggestions of a title fight between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier, it might not happen just yet.
The trilogy fight between ‘The Diamond’ and Conor McGregor seems to be what is up next at 155.
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