Matt Serra Reveals Why He Was Not in Aljamain Sterling’s Corner at UFC 259

Published 03/12/2021, 12:30 AM EST


Aljamain Sterling became the undisputed bantamweight champion at UFC 259. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding his win against Petr Yan. An illegal knee by Yan meant that Sterling was given the title as ‘No Mercy’ was disqualified. 

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The impact of the knee was so profuse that ‘Funkmaster’ could not walk without help after the referee called the fight off. This has obviously attracted a fair share of criticism from both fans and fighters alike. 

However, in the aftermath of UFC 259, it looks as though fight-related controversy is not the only thing that ‘Funkmaster’ has found himself in. Former welterweight champion and Sterling’s Jiu-Jitsu coach, Matt Serra, has spoken out against his star pupil ‘Funkmaster’ 

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Read: ‘She destroys you’- Mike Tyson warns Zhang Weili about Rose Namajunas 

Matt Serra reveals why he was not in Aljamain Sterling’s corner for UFC 259

On a recent episode of UFC Unfiltered, Serra spoke about why he was not in Sterling’s corner the past weekend. 

He said, “Going forward, I think it’s better now to make an exit on a high note. I always loved cornering, but what’s going on for the next fight? Is it me and Eric Nicksick doing rock-paper-scissors to see who gets in the corner? I have a family I don’t need to take.

I mean, I will always be in this kid’s corner – just not physically… It’s not by my choice but by the choices that were made here. So I’m just going to retire altogether from the whole cornering thing”

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He said, “Now this is no longer a thing of ours with me and Longo, and that’s cool. We did this with the intention of helping these guys reaching their goals. But at the same time, you can’t help but feel a little disrespected. We brought this kid from his first fight in the UFC. … Not going to lie, I was a little hurt.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 06: Aljamain Sterling prepares to fight Cory Sandhagen in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 250 event at UFC APEX on June 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Sterling is the latest of many champions to be tutored under Ray Longo and Matt Serra. ‘Terror’ Serra has been ‘Funkmaster’s’ Jiu-Jitsu coach since day one and the bantamweight champion is his prize pupil. For his recent camp, ‘Aljo’ has been training with Erik Nicksick at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, who he chose to have in his corner instead of Serra. 

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What do you make of the fallout between Sterling and Serra? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kevin Binoy

921 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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