“Makhachev did not fight for a whole year.” UFC champion’s cunning team takes on Islam
Igor Nekrasov May 31, 2023, 19:15 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Sterling’s trainer tries to save Aljo from the fight by aiming arrows at the Russian.
Ray Longo, trainer of UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, unexpectedly spoke out against Russian lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. Sterling’s team is still trying to recover from the Aug. 19 fight between Aljamain and Sean O’Malley. Previously, Sterling himself spoke about the injury, and now his coach stood up for the champion, and she did it in a very specific way.
“It is unfair, Makhachev did not fight for a whole year! So why the hell should Sterling step into the Octagon to fight in two months? What the hell? I prefer that everything be fair and that everyone has the same conditions. If Dana White wants fights every two months, so be it, this is his company, ”said the trainer on the Anik & Florian Podcast.
It is surprising that Aljamain Sterling took a knee from Peter Yan, and his mentor is emitting mixed thoughts. Let’s find out. Ray Longo probably had in mind the period from September 7, 2019 to March 7, 2021, when Makhachev had a long downtime. But why remember now? So the Russian was very far from the top 5 and had no obligations in the form of title defense. In response, one might wonder what Sterling did between the June 8, 2019, and June 7, 2020 fights, but that doesn’t matter either.
Let’s take the tournament on March 7, 2021 as a starting point. Both Islam and Aljamain performed in it, Sterling won by disqualification of Petr Yan, and Makhachev choked Drew Dober. From that time to this day, Islam has had five cage fights, Aljo has only three. What kind of “passive schedule” can a champion trainer talk about, who after every fight starts talking about old injuries and the need for rehabilitation? He now he hurts Sterling’s neck, then his biceps, then his legs. Maybe it’s time to retire?
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It’s also funny how Sterling’s coach cleverly manipulates the facts. It’s unclear why Ray Longo says Sterling is being forced to fight two months after the Cejudo fight. The fight with Henry took place on May 6 and the duel with O’Malley is scheduled for August 19. The interval between battles is not two, but three and a half months. Aljamain, even before the fight with Henry, said that the next opponent was Sean, seeing him as easy prey. But for some reason this mood abruptly evaporated, instead there were appeals to Dana White and words about his own greatness.
“I don’t like guys who say, ‘I’ll fight if my body can take it.’ If you don’t feel healthy, don’t take the fight. We will introduce someone else or fight for an interim title,” said Dana White.
Now, for some reason, Sterling’s team finds itself with a Russian who performs two categories higher. Maybe Aljamain is offended that he doesn’t get the same attention as Islam? But it’s only Sterling’s fault. All of his recent victories, with the exception of the fight with Dillashaw, are, to put it mildly, controversial: two were won by split decision, one by performance. Yes, and all these statements after the fights, rare interviews. Do you want to be respected? Prove it in the octagon.
This battle will go down in history! Makhachev is the best fighter on the planet.
Islam, who was excited by Sterling’s team, in the same three and a half months fought with the third and first numbers of the P4P ranking and defeated both of them. The Russian, like Sterling, had a sterdown with Alexander Volkanovski immediately after the fight with Charles Oliveira, took the same pause to prepare, went to foreign territory and defeated the local legend there. That’s why he is respected in the UFC.
And Sterling is afraid of a quick fight with a guy who a year ago ranked 12th in the bantamweight rankings, and flew to the top only thanks to a controversial victory over Petr Yan. That’s the whole difference between Makhachev and Sterling. Aljamain and his team need to solve their own issues and increase his popularity by winning fights, not attacking other fighters. Especially as steep as Makhachev.