Matt Serra has high expectations for his pupil, Aljamain Sterling.
In the first of three title fights at UFC 259, Sterling is set to fight Petr Yan for the bantamweight title. It’s a very intriguing matchup and for Serra, he believes Sterling will get the job done.
Not only does Serra think Aljamain Sterling will become the new bantamweight champion, but he believes Sterling will become the Jon Jones of the bantamweight division.
“I think if you look at his whole career, the talent was always there and it’s just how he put it together,” Serra said to MMAJunkie. “(Ray) Longo would always say that if I point something out in the fight like ‘Dude, that was amazing!’ Longo would always say, ‘Look, that guy can do whatever he wants to do upstairs.’ He really could be the Jon Jones of that division, that’s how talented he is, he could do what he wants.
“He puts everything altogether better now and just his attitude. To come back after two losses and fight an undefeated fighter back in the day vs. ‘The Pikey’ (Brett Johns) – he never had an easy fight, Aljo,” Serra continued. “He fought all studs, and I believe he’s gonna be the new champion and he’s gonna hold that belt for a while. His jiu-jitsu, his grappling in general is – he came into my academy already just talented, pulling off stuff. Sometimes I wouldn’t even correct where he’s going because I like to see where he goes. He’s the ‘Funkmaster.’ I’m super happy for him, and I believe he’s gonna be the new champion.”
In order for Aljamain Sterling to even be considered the Jon Jones of the bantamweight champion, he needs to beat Petr Yan on Saturday night. However, even still, being considered the Jon Jones of the division is very high expectations to meet.