Matt Serra might have been left out of Aljamain Sterling’s corner at UFC 259, but he is still in the champ’s corner in life.
There has been quite a run of controversies for Sterling, who became the first fighter ever to win a UFC belt via a disqualification. After an illegal knee was shot from Petr Yan, another series of shots would come for Sterling post-fight of UFC 259..
“Funkmaster” was given a multitude of other nicknames and insults alike after his title-winning performance. “Oscar winner” and “Paper Champ” were among those aliases given because of the theory that Sterling was faking his way to a disqualification win.
The Serra Story
Among the conversations for validity, came another grand controversy for Sterling. Long-time coach Matt Serra.
The former UFC Welterweight champ would express how hurt he was after his good friend and pupil left him out of the corner line-up for his first title fight at UFC 259. Sterling would bring in another longtime coach in Ray Longo, one half of the Serra-Longo fight team, leaving the other half at home in Long Island.
In much surprise to Serra, Sterling would also bring in Eric Nicksick who had only been training with Aljo for 3 months, compared to Serra’s 7 years. The TUF Champion has been with Sterling every step in the way to UFC gold, cornering him in just about every UFC fight. All except for the biggest fight of his career, to which Serra felt disrespected.
“When you’ve been with a guy for that long.” Serra said on UFC Unfiltered. “First of all, Aljo texted me and said he would call me back, but I didn’t hear from the kid for three days. I don’t want to be over-sensitive, but how do you think those nights were sleeping? I’m just hurt. I know you’re busy and things are going on but I gotta know what the f*ck I’m doing.”
Much of the MMA community spewed hate at the new champion for how he treated Serra, prior to the Bantamweight title bout. However, Serra has since rekindled the fire between him and his old friend.
Sterling would go on to pose with his new gold belt with the guy who helped get him there in the first place. Sterling posted this picture on his Instagram to let everyone know the relationship problems between him and “The Terror” were settled.
“In this together.” Aljo said. “No matter what!”
Additional to the consolation, Serra would also take to his Instagram to post a video of the two, kicking it back like nothing ever happened.
“Okay, so people have been giving Aljamain Sterling a lot of hate, one because of the knee and two, because they think he me and him have some beef or something like that. It’s true [that] I’m stepping away from cornering for now. I ain’t cornering for a while, I’m spending time with the family, [I’m] not going away. Myself and the ‘Funkmaster’ are always going to be cool.
“Let them know that we love each other.” Serra told Sterling, posing with him. “I’m going to help him defend this belt. It’s beautiful. I’m gonna help him defend this against Petr Yan. We’re always cool. Petr Yan, he’s coming for you buddy.”