Saturday, November 27, 2021

Aljamain Sterling: Jimmie Rivera Bout Means More than a UFC Fight

Aljamain Sterling has clocked the final time it has taken for him to finally fight Jimmie Rivera at six years. At UFC Phoenix this Sunday from the Talking Stick Resort Arena, the clock on the patience and trash talking is over. And because of the history between the two bantamweights that predates their UFC careers, Sterling believes the significance of Sunday’s fight is heavier than just another UFC fight (Transcript via MMA Fighting):

“[This fight] is a lot more than just winning a UFC fight,” Sterling told Luke Thomas during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “We’re going to unify the CFFC championship with this matchup. He’s been talking a whole lot of sh*t from about five years ago, just ragging on me and talking about my stand up and he could beat me and he’s better than me. I’m like ‘Dude, I know I’ve got bigger muscles than you but let it go. I’m already in the UFC. Let me do my thing.’”

Aljamain Sterling believes that the wait for the fight to occur has only hurt Jimmie Rivera’s chances to win this Sunday since Sterling is now a much more well-rounded fighter than he used to be:

“When I [first] called Rivera out, after I lost my two fights to [Bryan] Caraway and [Raphael] Assuncao back-to-back, I was on the down swing when I was right on the cusp of fighting for a world title had I gotten through Caraway. Jimmie Rivera was still working his way up and when I called him out, he still didn’t want to take the fight with me,” Sterling revealed. “It would have been smarter for him to take the fight with me back then while I was I still growing and developing my striking. Now, I can do anything I want.”

Do you believe the timing for this fight makes sense for both Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera?

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