'The Funk Makster' believes that his wrestling skills will prove to be a difficult challenge to overcome for his Russian competitor-
"I don't think he [Petr Yan] has ever fought anyone who is actually trying to actively take him down and I think that is going to be the difference in this one."
Evidently, Aljamain Sterling plans on going into his first UFC title fight with a wrestling-heavy strategy. Although his expertise on the ground clearly separates him from the rest, Petr Yan has had his fair share of potential wrestlers inside the Octagon. He also had answers for those who looked to tear him down on the ground including Urijah Faber (UFC 245) and John Dodson (UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz vs Santos).
In the course of culminating his 10-fight win streak, Petr Yan has also built up a spectacular takedown defense percentage of 88%. Therefore, he will certainly not be a cakewalk on the ground.
Regardless, Aljamain Sterling is confident in his supremacy on the ground. He even said that even though his strength will lie in his wrestling, the fight will end with a round 2 TKO. He said
"I think we are going to be able to see his wrestling defense and get a lot of questions answered for us. I think he's the real deal. He's a tough guy. He did what he had to do with all the guys they put in front of him, so I gotta pay [him] respect for that. But, at the end of the day, it's my time to put on the show... I think a TKO is going happen. To be honest, I do think I'm going to get him down. I think he is going to give a lot of resistance for the submissions, but he leaves himself open trying to defend submissions. He leaves himself vulnerable for ground-and-pound."
What does Aljamain Sterling intend to do if he becomes the "first Jamaican champion"?
Aljamain Sterling is proud of his Jamaican heritage. He walks into fights with the flags of both USA and Jamaica. He said that after winning this bout, he will be able to put Jamaica on the map for up-and-coming MMA professionals.
Aljamain Sterling has said that he is undertaking a venture to provide affordable access to the sport for the people of Jamaica. However, the financial restraints that came along with the workings of the project proved to be a setback.
Aljamain Sterling said that after UFC 259, he will probably be able to further the momentum of his plans to promote mixed martial arts in his native country.