J Sterling Biography & Facts
Aljamain Antoine Sterling (born July 31, 1989) is an American mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the Bantamweight division in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current UFC Bantamweight Champion. Aljamain also competed for Cage Fury Fighting Championship, where he is the former Cage Fury Fighting Championship Bantamweight Champion. As of July 11, 2022 he is #6 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.
Sterling was born in 1989 in Uniondale, New York to Jamaican parents, Cleveland and Sophie Sterling. He grew up with seven full siblings and at least 12 half-siblings. To stay away from the prevalent gang life in which some of his brothers joined, Sterling started wrestling at Uniondale High School in 2004.Unable to catch up with the grades to reach Division I, Sterling opted to enroll at Morrisville State College where he continued wrestling. During the time in Morrisville, Sterling developed an interest in MMA when he met Jon Jones and trained on the wrestling team. After the freshman year, Sterling transferred to Cortland and eventually became a two-time NCAA Division III All-American with a record of 87–27. Sterling graduated from Cortland with a bachelor's degree in physical education. After years of absence in wrestling competition, Sterling wrestled and grappled two-time NCAA DI wrestling All-American and sophomore from Penn State Roman Bravo-Young, on December 22, 2020, at the NLWC IV. The rules consisted on six minutes of freestyle wrestling and three minutes of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Sterling was defeated by points in the first match but tapped out Bravo-Young in the second one.He earned the nickname “The Funk Master” from his unorthodox wrestling style.
Mixed martial arts career
While studying in Cortland, Sterling was invited by Jones to try out mixed martial arts at his gym of that time, The BombSquad in Ithaca, New York. A few fights into his professional career, Sterling left The BombSquad and started training at Serra-Longo Fight Team.
Sterling started his amateur career in 2009 with a submission win. Prior to turning pro Sterling compiled a 6-1 amateur record with the lone loss coming by way of split decision, he would eventually avenge this loss. Sterling captured the Raging Wolf amateur Bantamweight Championship and Extreme FC amateur Featherweight Championship along the way.Sterling started his professional career 2-0, before earning a shot at the ROC Bantamweight Championship. He would go on to defeat Claudio Ledesma by split decision to capture the title. Although this would turn out to be his last bout under the Ring of Combat organization, as he would later sign with Cage Fury Fighting Championships.
Sterling made his CFFC debut in a Featherweight bout against Evan Chmieleski. He won the fight by TKO with just two seconds left in the first round. This victory earned him a shot at the vacant CFFC Bantamweight Championship. Sterling defeated Sean Santella via unanimous decision to capture his second professional title. He would go on to defend the CFFC Bantamweight Championship on three occasions. Sterling finished all three of his title defenses by rear naked choke, which earned him the opportunity to compete in the UFC.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Sterling was scheduled to make his UFC debut at UFC 170 against Lucas Martins, replacing an injured Bryan Caraway. However Martins was eventually injured as well and replaced by fellow UFC newcomer Cody Gibson. Sterling won the fight via unanimous decision.Sterling made his second UFC appearance on July 16, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 45 against Hugo Viana. After controlling the majority of the fight Sterling landed a barrage of punches from the mount position causing the referee to wave off the fight late in the third round.
Sterling was expected to face Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine on October 4, 2014. However, Sterling pulled out of the bout and was replaced by Rob Font.Following a quick recovery, Sterling was promptly rebooked and was expected to face Frankie Saenz on November 8, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 55. However, Saenz was forced to withdraw from the bout and in turn promotional newcomer Michael Imperato was briefly linked as a replacement. However, his signing was quickly rescinded and as a result, Sterling was pulled from the event altogether.
Sterling was expected to face Manny Gamburyan on April 18, 2015 at UFC on Fox 15. However, Gamburyan pulled out of the bout citing injury and was replaced by Takeya Mizugaki. Sterling won the fight by submission in the third round.
Sterling faced Johnny Eduardo on December 10, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 80. He won the fight via submission in the second round.
Sterling next faced Bryan Caraway on May 29, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 88. Despite dominating the first round, Sterling began to tire and would go on to lose the following two rounds and lose via split decision.Sterling was expected to face Raphael Assunção on December 9, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 102. However, Sterling pulled out of the fight on November 23 citing injury. Assunção was subsequently removed from the card.
The bout with Assunção was rescheduled and took place on January 28, 2017 at UFC on Fox 23. Sterling lost the fight via split decision.Sterling faced Augusto Mendes on April 15, 2017 at UFC on Fox 24. He won the fight by unanimous decision.Sterling faced Renan Barão on July 29, 2017 at UFC 214. The fight was initially contracted to be contested at bantamweight, however on June 28, the CSAC announced that they would not license Barão to compete at that weight due to his struggle to make the required weight at UFC 177. The bout with Sterling proceeded as scheduled at a catchweight of 140 lbs. Sterling won the bout by unanimous decision.Sterling was expected to face Rani Yahya on December 9, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 123. However, Yahya pulled out from the event on November 7, 2017 due to injury, and was replaced by Marlon Moraes. He lost the fight via KO in the first round.
Sterling faced Brett Johns on April 21, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 128. He won the fight via unanimous decision.Sterling faced Cody Stamann on September 8, 2018 at UFC 228. He won the fight via submission in the second round.
Sterling faced Jimmie Rivera on February 17, 2019 at UFC on ESPN 1. He won the fight by unanimous decision.Sterling faced Pedro Munhoz on June 8, 2019 at UFC 238. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
Sterling faced Cory Sandhagen on June 6, 2020 at UFC 250 in a bout that UFC president Dana White confirmed to be a bantamweight title eliminator. He won the bout via submission in the first round. This win earned him his first Performance of the Night.
UFC bantamweight championship
Sterling was expected to face Petr Yan for the UFC Bantamweight Championship on December 12, 2020 at UFC 256. However, on November 22, it was announced the bout was scrapped from the UFC .... Discover the J Sterling popular books. Find the top 100 most popular J Sterling books.