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Aljamain Sterling Prefers Brian Ortega Over Movsar Evloev as Next Opponent


Sterling recently picked Brian
Ortega over Movsar
Evloev as his next preferred opponent, a decision that incited
a callout from the Russian.

Sterling earned a lopsided unanimous decision win against Calvin
Kattar in his featherweight debut at UFC
300. The former bantamweight champ subsequently called out

Sterling weighed out the technicalities of the potential fights,
both of which are a “grappler’s delight,” according to him.
Sterling lauded Ortega’s aggressive guard, which always makes for
wild grappling exchanges. While Sterling also lauded Evloev’s
wrestling, he believes he can “easily” match the Russian’s ground
game. “Funkmaster” also claims to have fared well in grappling
against some of the guys that Evloev trained with even while out of

“Both of these fights are a grappler’s delight,” Sterling said on
his YouTube channel. “If I were to fight Ortega, if you take him
down, he ain’t gonna hang out on his back. He’s looking for
triangles, he’s looking for armbars off of his back, he’s looking
for kimuras, he’s looking for up and over sweeps, umpas, he’s
looking to jump guillotines, he’s doing it all. Flying triangles,
he does it all.

“You got Movsar Evloev, mostly just grappling, gets to that
Dagestani position that they are known for, where they get behind
you, kind of just lock their hands and hang out there,” Sterling
added. “But if they get to triangle your legs and beat you up, then
they take advantage and they grind you down until you are like
nothing. Very tough matchups both of them. I think that my
wrestling would easily go toe-to-toe with Evloev, easily. I don’t
think there’s any difference in how good his wrestling is compared
to mine. I don’t know if he has a judo or sambo background. That
could maybe add a little bit of wrinkle to the game. But some of
the guys he’s grappled with, I’ve grappled with them and I’d like
to think, even when I’m out of shape… and I have grappled with
those guys, I’m pretty competitive. So that’s just my honest
assessment. That would be a head-to-head fight where whoever gets
the takedown first – tt might even end up just being like, ‘You
know what, either one of us don’t wanna exert too much energy in
the grappling’ — maybe Evloev and I just end up standing up.”

While Sterling claims to be intrigued by both matchups, the former
bantamweight champ would prefer the higher-ranked Ortega in order
to gain relevance in the featherweight title picture.

“There’s so many possibilities with the grappling aspect of things
and that’s what I like about both those fights. If you’re gonna ask
me which fight do I want, give me Brian Ortega. He is the
highest-ranked guy not named Max
Holloway and not named Alexander
Volkanovski. I beat him, I think it puts me automatically in a
position where I get to fight for the title.”

Sterling’s comments invited a callout from Evloev.

“[Aljamain Sterling], brave for you to talk about me,” Evloev
wrote. “I like it! Call UFC and fight me. I’m ready.”

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