Aljamain Sterling is confident that all he needs is one takedown to defeat the bantamweight champion Petr Yan.
The two will finally lock horns at UFC 259 after a previously booked fight for UFC 256 got cancelled over visa issues. The event already has a packed card where three UFC titles will be defended, including the one where Jan Blachowicz will put his light heavyweight belt on the line in a super-fight against middleweight king Israel Adesanya.
Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan will complete the title bouts' triad, fighting it out for the bantamweight championship. In a recent interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Aljamain Sterling shared how he plans on taking down the champion, and it is no surprise that 'Funk Master' will be resorting to his ground skills to make the 145 pound-belt his.
Aljamain Sterling was asked if he believed Petr Yan has been battle-tested enough inside the octagon or was he yet to face a proper challenge.
"I think he has been tested. I don't think he necessarily had guys constantly attacking him like a Khabib-style type of pressure, looking to get him to the ground. That changes the temper of the fight. He can try to stop the takedowns with punches as much as he wants - I just need one takedown. I could shoot a hundred times, he could stop it a hundred times, I get one takedown - the 101th takedown attempt, I get him down on his back, it's gonna be a long night for that guy," Aljamain Sterling said.
This is not the first time Aljamain Sterling has brought up Khabib Nurmagomedov in relation to his training for Petr Yan. He tweeted a few days back that he was "sparring and grappling" in the typical Dagestani style to win his upcoming title fight.
Aljamain Sterling: Gonna Khabib you so bad!
Aljamain Sterling has already issued a warning to Petr Yan on social media, saying he would 'Khabib' him in their fight, by which he meant that he had a strategic plan to dominate the champion on the ground in the signature style of the lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
"I’m training to break him and destroy him. I can’t see what he’s going to offer me and I’m determined to prove to everyone that I deserve to be champion. I’m gonna defend this belt for a long time. Right now, mentally, I’m so strong."