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Midnight Mania! Aljamain Sterling reveals the one Featherweight ‘hammer’ he’d like to avoid fighting

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Aljamain Sterling is the reigning Bantamweight king, fresh off a five-round decision win over Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 last weekend (Sat. May 6, 2023) from inside Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey. His immediate future is clear, as Sean O’Malley is lined up as his next challenger.

After that bout, Sterling will head up to 145 lbs. in pursuit of Featherweight gold. He’s been very forthcoming about his plans to jump up a weight class, and he believes that his frame will fit the division well based on his experience with elite Featherweights.

“I look at some of these other guys at 145 and I train with them, I feel good about it... I think I’ve got the room to fill out, I have the reach, and (can) get big,” Sterling told Megan Olivi (via MMA News). “Of course, when I get to the top of the mountain with those guys, it gets a little bit different; taller guys... There’s a lot of good guys there.”

Of course, Sterling is aiming for Featherweight gold, which currently means a showdown with Alexander Volkanovski. The Australian talent isn’t yet inspired by the prospect of fighting “The Funk Master,” which could mean that Sterling has to fight a top contender in his Featherweight debut, rather than the champion himself.

If that’s the case, Sterling has one Featherweight he’d prefer not to fight: Ilia Topuria. “The Matador” is a fearsome puncher with great jiu-jitsu, but that’s not the reason Sterling doesn’t want to throw down. Instead, it’s an extension of his friendship with Merab Dvalishvili.

“Of course, you’ve got another Georgian hammer in Ilia Topuria. I know him and Merab are really good friends. That’s one I’d like to avoid, for the sake of that friendship that they have. And we’ve hung out a couple times, (Topuria is a) really cool guy.”


Grant Dawson vs. Damir Ismagulov is an excellent match up of Lightweights just outside the Top 10.

Bellator’s Lightweight king Usman Nurmagomedov was kind enough to demonstrate how the rear naked choke works on this podcast.

Kelvin Gastelum officially announces his move back to 170 lbs. I hope it goes well ...

This is a badass shot.

I like the Matt Frevola vs. Paddy Pimblett fight, it makes plenty of sense. Hopefully it works out!

A couple nights ago, I complained about Sterling’s all fours down tactic. Let me follow that up by also pinning some blame on Cejudo for failing to attack with front chokes when he knew Sterling was going to do this!

Okay, this is pretty funny!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

An accidental KO from the training room:

A 41-year-old finish!

Taking a heel to the liver feels absolutely terrible.

Random Land

Ball to the balls.

Midnight Music: New wave, 1983

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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