Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Sterling Names Biggest Change Since Becoming Champion

Aljamain Sterling has had a whirlwind year following his epic title redemption story, but what has been the biggest change?

Sterling, who looks for his second successful title defense against TJ Dillashaw, now looks like a new man. Doubted after his original disqualification title win, he laid all naysayers wrong in a hard-fought win over Petr Yan. At UFC 280, in the Dillashaw bout, he faces a former champion of the highest pedigree.

TJ Dillashaw looks to enter a redemption arc of his own following a failed drugs test. Following a comeback victory over Cory Sandhagen, he gets a shot at the champion. If we will see the man who masterfully dismantled the likes of Renan Barao and Cody Garbrandt remains to be seen.

Sterling Talks Being Champion

Aljamain Sterling
Photo via Instagram @funkmastermma

For Sterling, much has changed. Being the man who carries the biggest target on his back can be an arduous task. Still, it comes with its perks. Sterling discussed the upside on his Youtube channel.

“Biggest change? I guess just being able to do more for my family.” This sentiment is shared by a large element of the UFC roster. A large contingency of the athletes did not come from privileged backgrounds, and there have been many touching moments of sons coming good, buying parents’ cars and houses. Despite any increase in his financial status though, Sterling is adamant he hasn’t changed a bit.

“Honestly, I’m still the same guy, I still make the same stupid jokes. If anyone knows me from Uniondale, nothing’s changed man, I’m the same old guy… Nothing’s really changed, man. If anything, just more opportunities from other people and more recognition from people on Long Island.”

The New York native values staying humble highly, which is often an attribute of the longest-reigning champions.

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