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UFC 238’s Aljamain Sterling: Munhoz, Rivera and Stamann ‘all have hard-ons for me’

Aljamain Sterling has a knack for irking his opponents and he thinks he knows why.

Many of Aljamain Sterling’s often soft-spoken opponents have gotten lippy with him and Sterling believes he knows why.

Sterling gives his take on verbal sparring with opponents like Cody Stamann, Jimmie Rivera, and — most recently — Pedro Munhoz in an exclusive interview with Bloody Elbow. “I think they all have hard-ons for me. I think they see me, they see the confidence, and the want to be that. I guess they’ve never seen me in a tough fight,” he says. “They might feel I’m not as tough as I look or talk — I don’t know what it is — but at the end of the day I can’t control how they feel about me. My job is just to beat their ass and get in and get out.”

Sterling recently surfaced a 2014 no-contest on Munhoz’s record due to elevated violations of testosterone.

“A fan tweeted it to me and I completely forgot it even happened. I thought it was fair play,” Sterling explained. “Whatever happened with that drug test? There was no result that was confirmed in whether he was innocent or guilty. As far as I’m concerned the commission is right and he’s guilty. I think that year alone they had four guys pop [for] very similar things. I think it was Anderson Silva, him, Kevin Casey and somebody else. They were all under the same banner, you know, the same team. That Black House crew. Where there is smoke, there’s fire. If he’s clean now that is completely up to him. It’s his preference if he likes putting needles up his butt.”

Munhoz lashed out at Sterling in response, calling him a “p—sy,” a “b—ch” and an “a—hole.” Sterling could not help but chuckle as those words were recited to him. “Something must’ve stung. Something I said must’ve stung,” he said with a cheeky grin. “If it wasn’t true, if it doesn’t apply let it fly. Clearly, there is some sort of backlash if he needs to be so emotional about it. I welcome Pedro to come out and fight me emotionally. I learned my lesson fighting like that and maybe he’ll end up learning his lesson as well. I accept to fight the best Pedro on June 8 and I plan on showing him why he’s not in my league.”

The number-three ranked bantamweight is prepared to step in should either Henry Cejudo or Marlon Moraes fail to make it to Saturday’s main event for the UFC bantamweight title. “I’m going to make sure I make championship weight ‘cause there could be a very good chance I’ll be the next guy to step in there on short notice,” Sterling explained. “I’m doing everything I possibly can to make sure I’m ready for a 15-minute or 25-minute fight.”

Even if he does not fight for the title on Saturday, Sterling predicts he will be champion by the end of the year. “If whoever wins the belt, June 8, is willing to fight one more time for the year. I’m going to predict, yes,” he exclaimed.

Sterling also reveals what it was like growing up with 20 siblings, gives an update on Al Iaquinta following UFC Ottawa and shares funny stories about the ball of energy that is Merab Dvalishvili. Time stamps are below for the video above.

0:23 - Who is funkier, Aljamain Sterling or Ben Askren?
0:50 - Why do Sterling’s opponents dislike him?
1:55 - Why Sterling brought up Pedro Munhoz’s drug suspension
3:25 - How important is a clean sport?
5:15 - Munhoz’s harsh comments about Sterling
6:55 - Stepping in for the main event
7:55 - How is Al Iaquinta doing post-UFC Ottawa?
9:13 - Funny Merab Dvalishvili stories
10:59 - Growing up with 20 siblings
12:15 - Biggest advantage over Munhoz
13:30 - Plans to be bantamweight champion by end of 2019

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