Aljamain Sterling has unveiled the moment that he knew he couldn’t fight Petr Yan on Oct. 30.
Sterling was scheduled to put his UFC Bantamweight Championship on the line against Yan at UFC 267. Plans went awry after Sterling needed more time to properly heal from his neck issues before returning to the Octagon. Yan is now expected to meet Cory Sandhagen for the interim UFC Bantamweight Title.
During an appearance on MMAFighting’s The MMA Hour, Aljamain Sterling revealed to Ariel Helwani when he realized he wouldn’t be fighting Yan this fall.
“A couple of weeks ago, maybe even when we spoke and I just knew usually around that time the endurance just wasn’t coming back to me. I was fatiguing doing pullups. Not that I couldn’t do pullups, I was doing pullups where I was doing static holds as part of my strength and conditioning. Which gives me the squeezing endurance that I had been having over my entire career since college wrestling … I could only hold it for like 15, 20 seconds. I was like, ‘yo something’s wrong, man.’ And this was after an off day.
“I would spar and I would do all these resistance exercises to be ready for the next sparring session. And then I go spar, after one round of throwing punches the next round I could barely keep my arms up.”
Aljamain Sterling Hopes To Avoid Career-Ender
Sterling also admitted to Helwani that he had doubts over his fighting future. He was afraid that he’d never be able to fully recover from his neck injury. What gave him optimism is when his doctor told him usually it takes 12-18 months for him to regain his full strength. Sterling said he won’t need to take all of that time, but eight months is doable.
We’ll keep you posted on when Sterling will be able to return to action.