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Aljamain Sterling has racked up two straight victories since suffering the first knockout loss of his career, which was dealt by Marlon Moraes. With a record of 8-3 inside the Octagon, he sits comfortably at No. 7 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight rankings.
On Feb. 17, Sterling will try to further his resume as he takes on No. 5-ranked Jimmie Rivera at UFC on ESPN 1. The fight will take place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. As he attempts to move up the bantamweight rankings, learn more about him by looking at the numbers that have defined his career.
87: Wins against 27 losses as a wrestler for State University of New York College at Cortland. It was during this time when the two-time NCAA Division III All-American earned the nickname “Funk Master” due to his unorthodox style.
6: Wins against one loss as an amateur fighter. He earned two championships before going pro as he won the Raging Wolf amateur bantamweight title and Extreme FC amateur featherweight title. He later avenged his lone defeat, which came via split decision.
5: Fights in 2011, which was his most active year yet. That’s even more impressive considering it was his debut year.
8: Wins without a loss before getting signed by the UFC. Sterling fought for different regional promotions. He won the Ring of Combat bantamweight title opposite future Bellator MMA standout Claudio Ledesma, after which he was signed by Cage Fury Fighting Championships. He went on to capture its bantamweight title and defend it three times.
109: Seconds needed to beat Joel Roberts via rear-naked choke. The win marked his third successful CFFC title defense and his last bout outside of the UFC.
12: Takedowns landed in his first four fights inside the Octagon, all of which he emerged victorious. He won a decision over Cody Gibson in his debut, then stopped Hugo Viana and submitted both Takeya Mizugaki and Johnny Eduardo. In all those fights, only Gibson was able to take him down.
84: Combined significant strikes landed on his opponents in Sterling’s first two UFC losses. Bryan Caraway, who dealt him his first setback, could only manage nine while Raphael Assuncao pulled off 39. Still, he came up short with back-to-back split decision losses.
71: Significant strikes landed on Renan Barao, who was once considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Sterling completely outclassed the Brazilian when they met at UFC 214.
122: Significant strikes landed on his last two opponents, Brett Johns and Cody Stamann. “Funk Master” once again proved his striking dominance over two quality bantamweights.
7: Wins by submission, four of which were by rear-naked choke. His submission victims include Harley Leimbach, Casey Johnson, Sidemar Honorio, Roberts, Mizugaki, Eduardo and Stamann.
29: Years of age. Sterling was born in Uniondale, New York, on July 31, 1989. With an excellent professional record and a good showing in the UFC, the sky is the limit for the Serra-Longo Fight Team standout.