69° Good Evening
69° Good Evening
SportsMixed Martial Arts

The UFC call: Aljamain Sterling

Uniondale's Aljamain Sterling is seen during a training

Uniondale's Aljamain Sterling is seen during a training session at Ray Longo and Chris Weidman's Power MMA in Garden City. Sterling makes his UFC debut at UFC 170 on Feb. 22, 2014, in Las Vegas. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Where people are and what they do in the immediate moment of receiving big news is always interesting to learn about, which is why I always ask that question.

Since this particular space of the vast Internet concerns itself with mixed martial arts, from time to time, we'll take a look at how MMA fighters say they reacted when they got the call telling them their next fight would be in the UFC.

First up, Uniondale's Aljamain Sterling, who got "the call" on Jan. 27 that he'd be needed to fight Lucas Martins at UFC 170 in Las Vegas on Feb. 22.

“As soon as I got off the phone, I started screaming in the house," Sterling said. "My mom was like, 'What happened, what happened?' Life’s gonna change. Everything’s gonna get a little better."

Sterling, 24, said the call came from his managers, Dave Martin and Randel Aleman, shortly before 9 p.m.

Several days later, he got another call, saying his opponent had changed. Sterling will fight Cody Gibson on the UFC 170 prelims. (His bout will air in the 8 p.m. ET hour on Fox Sports 1.)

The night of the first call, though, Sterling said he had decided to kick back for a bit. Of course, that was before his phone rang.

His next fight -- a fourth bantamweight title defense for Cage Fury -- was scheduled for Feb. 22, then was to be pushed back to the promotion's March 22 card. At that point, it was time to slow down training to avoid peaking too early and burning out the body before fight night.

"I was having a Bud Light Platinum," Sterling said.

He put the beer down, handed it to his friend, and said, "I don't need this anymore."


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports