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Sterling talks about emotional breakdown at club following loss to Caraway

UFC bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling suffered his first pro-loss last month to Bryan Caraway. In a recent blog post, “Funk Master” discussed his very emotional breakdown at his after-party, despite not wanting to dwell on the defeat.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Sterling vs Eduardo Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

One of the UFC’s most promising bantamweight up-and-comers came to a crashing halt last month when Aljamain Sterling suffered his first professional defeat to underdog Bryan Caraway. Sterling had a dominant first round, nearly finishing Caraway, but “Kid Lightning” was able to grind out the then-undefeated fighter for the latter two rounds and pull off the unlikely split decision win.

“I put in so much effort in terms of the training, and after such a dominant first round, the way I had that adrenaline dump, especially in my arms,” Sterling wrote in a recent blog post on, “it felt like I was swinging two cinder blocks around. It was pretty disheartening. I couldn’t keep my hands up by my face, and although my feet were moving well, I didn’t want to keep running away and not engaging in the fight. I just told myself, ‘You’ve got to try to stay in this.’

Sterling went on to credit Caraway for his solid performance, and continued pouring his heart out. He talked about going to his after-party, stating that he didn’t want to dwell on the fight, he just wanted to try to have a good time and enjoy the company of friends.

But, he was forced into thinking about the loss, and he ended up doing so all night.

“I went to my after-party with the intention of trying to have a good time and not dwell on the fight,” he wrote. “One of my boys, he was pretty drunk, kept harping on me about me needing to do the things that he knew I was capable of doing. I kept telling him, “Bro, I get it,” but he kept at it, probably for a total of 30 minutes or more of the night. He just kept coming back and talking about it.

He wouldn’t be the last person to give hindsight advice to Sterling that night. As a matter of fact, it was an accumulation of this collective finger-wagging that would cause some emotional unraveling.

“Later, about an hour before closing time, one of my other friends came over and then he starts talking about it — the same song and dance,” he wrote. “It was like pulling out the right Jenga block, and in doing so it brought the tower down. It just overflowed inside me, and I couldn’t hold it together anymore.

“I legit broke down and just started babbling and crying inside of this club. It was 3:30 in the morning and we were in a secluded area of the club, so there weren’t too many people around to witness it. I sat there like that for a good 20 minutes. Now, I’m a true believer that you should keep that sort of stuff behind closed doors. You don’t want to let people see you in that vulnerable state, but it got to me.”

Sterling continued his very open recounting of that night, concluding that he felt like he could move forward with a much clearer head after clearing the path of his emotional obstacles.

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