The biography, life, and accomplishments of MMA fighter Aljamain Sterling.

Aljamain Sterling is currently one of the best fighters in the game. #1 ranked Bantamweight in the UFC, insane 19-3-0 record, and the master of the rear naked choke.

In this profile, we want to give you the full story on Sterling; his stats, records, rankings, career, earnings – everything.

Read on to find out exactly how the Funk Master became the legend that we know today.

Aljamain Sterling Stats

Full Name: Aljamain Sterling

Alias Height Weight
Funkmaster 5’7” (67 inches) 135 lbs (61.23 kilograms)
Reach Leg Reach Date Of Birth
71 inches 39 inches July 31, 1989
Association Class Rank
Serra-Longo Fight Team Bantamweight Black Belt (Brazilian Jujitsu)

Aljamain Sterling Record

Aljamain Sterling’s MMA record is 19-3-0 as of March 2021.

Here is is full MMA record from his professional career:

  • June 6, 2020 – Win vs. Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250
  • June 8, 2019 – Win vs. Pedro Munhoz at UFC 238
  • Feb 17, 2019 – Win vs. Jimmie Rivera
  • Sep 8, 2018 – Win vs. Cody Stamann at UFC 228
  • April 21, 2018 – Win vs. Brett Johns at UFC Fight Night 128
  • Dec 09, 2017 – Loss vs Marlon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 123
  • July 29, 2017 – Win vs. Renan Barao at UFC 214
  • April 15, 2017 – Win vs. Augusto Mendes
  • Jan 28, 2017 – Loss vs. Raphael Assuncao
  • May 29, 2016 – Loss vs. Bryan Caraway at UFC Fight Night 88
  • Dec 10, 2015 – Win vs. Johnny Eduardo at UFC Fight Night 80
  • April 18, 2015 – Win vs. Takeya Mizugaki
  • July 16, 2014 – Win vs. Hugo Viana at UFC Fight Night 45
  • Feb 22, 2014 – Win vs. Cody Gibson at UFC 170 (First UFC Fight)
  • Nov 2, 2013 – Win vs. Joel Roberts at CFFC 30
  • Aug 24, 2012 – Win vs. Sidemar Honorio at CFFC 16
  • April 14, 2012 – Win vs. Casey Johnson at CFFC 14
  • Oct 22, 2011 – Win vs. Sean Santella at CFFC 11
  • July 23, 2011 – Win vs. Evan Chmielski at CFFC 10
  • Jun 17, 2011 – Win vs. Claudio Ledesma at ROC 36
  • May 21, 2011 – Win vs. Harley Leimbach at EFC – Bragging Rights 2
  • April 22, 2011 – Win vs. Sergio da Silva at UCC 4 – Supremacy

Aljamain Sterling Ranking

Sterling is currently #1 in the UFC Bantamweight rankings.

He is the highest ranked fighter in the 126 to 135lbs weight class.


How does Aljamain Sterling stay so lean?

Sterling is a natural at staying in shape and meeting weight. In some cases he’s cut from as a high as 160 all the way down to 135 lbs before a fight.

He achieves it through a combination of exercise, diet and strict supplementation. Sterling has even gone on record to say one of the supplements that has been helping him through his recent weight cuts is Burn Lab Pro, a thermogenic fat burner.

We recently reviewed Burn Lab Pro, and you can find our full take on this supplement here.

Read Our Review


Aljamain Sterling Early Career

Sterling began wrestling at Uniondale High School in 2004. Controversially, the decision for Sterling to begin wrestling was to help avoid the gang life that was prevalent in his area.

Later he enrolled at Morrisville State College and continued his pursuit of the sport. This interest in wrestling slowly grew and developed into another interest in MMA after meeting Jon Jones during this time on the wrestling team.

Sterling later transferred to State University of New York College at Cortland and became a two-time NCAA Division III All American with a record of 87-27. He graduated with a degree in physical education.

He eventually earned the name “The Funk Master” due to how unorthodox his wrestling style was.

Amateur Career

Sterling began fighting at an amateur level in 2009 – 5 years prior to his start with the UFC. He had a good run as an amateur, landing a 6 – 1 w/l amateur record, with his only loss coming from a split decision.

Sterling’s amateur career lasted for a total of two years. During this time he was awarded the Raging Wolf amateur Bantamweight Championship and the Extreme FC amateur Featherweight Championship.

ROC Career (Ring of Combat)

Aljamain’s first professional fights were under the Ring of Combat organization. After winning his first two fights, Sterling was put up against Claudio Ledesma for the ROC Bantamweight Championship – of which he would win by split decision.

However, his championship title was short lived – as his success drew the attention of the CFFC (Cage Fury Fighting Championship) who signed him shortly after his victory.

CFFC Career (Cage Fury Fighting Championship)

Sterling’s first fight in the CFFC was a Featherweight bout against Evan Chmieleski. This put Sterling in line for the vacant CFFC Bantamweight Championship title. He secured this title over a victory against Sean Santella who was also gunning for the title.

Sterling sat comfortably as the Bantamweight champion in the CFFC and defended it on three separate occasions (all by rear naked choke), and this aggressive success allowed him to win his place in UFC.

Aljamain Sterling UFC MMAAljamain Sterling UFC

Aljamain Sterling has had a pretty spectacular career, with a lot happening in terms of both ups and downs. Below, we cover his most notable (and most anticipated) fights.

Aljamain Sterling VS Petr Yan

  • Event: UFC 259 – Blachowicz VS Adesanya
  • Date: March 6th 2021
  • Result: TBD
  • Referee: TBD

Aljamain Sterling is to fight Petr Yan at UFC 259 on March 6th. It is arguably the most anticipated fight of the Funk Master’s career.

At the time of writing this, Yan is currently the Bantamweight champion of the UFC, however, Funk Master is the current #1 in terms of Bantamweight UFC rankings.

Both are trained in the art of Brazilian Jujitsu. Sterling is currently a black belt, whereas Yan is blue belt. However, Yan is also a Master of Sport in both Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts.

The real question is whether Petr Yan can handle the Funk Master and his unorthodox style come fight night.

Aljamain Sterling VS Cory Sandhagen

  • Event: UFC 250 – Nunes VS Spencer
  • Date: June 6th 2020
  • Result: Sterling WIN – Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
  • Referee: Chris Tognoni

Aljamain Sterling fought Cory Sandhagen on June 6th, 2020 at UFC 250. Sterling managed to win the match in the first round with a submission win with a rear naked choke hold.

This is one of the top matches referenced when it comes to Sterling’s career. That rear naked choke was absolutely vicious.

The entire match took just 1 minute and 28 seconds to play out. Sterling was awarded Performance of the Night for how beautifully he took out Cory Sandhagen. This accolade also included a bonus of $50,000 which gave Sterling a grand total of $152,000 in winnings from his fight against Sandhagen.

Aljamain Sterling VS Marlon Moraes

  • Event: UFC Fight Night 123 – Swanson VS Ortega
  • Date: December 9th 2017
  • Result: Sterling LOSS – KO (Knee)
  • Referee: Michael Bell

Aljamain Sterling VS Marlon Moraes happened December 9th, 2017. The bout happened at UFC Fight Night: Swanson VS Ortega in Fresno, California.

This was one of Sterling’s earlier fights and one that he lost to Moraes. Unfortunately at 135 lbs, Sterling lost to Moraes via knockout in the first round via a knee strike.

Marlon Moraes was awarded Performance of Night from his victory over Sterling. It was a pivotal moment in Sterling’s career, since that fight, Sterling has not lost a single bout in the ring. To put that into perspective – Sterling hasn’t lost a fight in years.

It just goes to show how strong you can come back from a brutal defeat in the world of MMA.

Aljamain Sterling Net Worth

Aljamain Sterling has a net worth between $1 million – $5 million.

Aside from being a skilled fighter, Sterling is also a New York realtor, actor, coach and even hosts his own podcast.

Aljamain Sterling Career Earnings

Sterling’s career earnings total $1,018,000 since performing in the UFC. Below is a list of Sterling’s fights and what he earned on that night. Please not that these figures do not include outside sponsorship, PPV or any undisclosed bonuses.

UFC 170 – Feb 22/14 – W (Gibson) – $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 win bonus)

UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs Miller – Jul 16/14 – W (Viana) – $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 win bonus)

UFC on Fox: Machida vs Rockhold – Apr 18/15 – W (Mizugaki) – $24,000 ($12,000 to show, $12,000 win bonus)

UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs VanZant – Dec 10/15 – W (Eduardo) – $30,500 ($14,000 to show, $14,000 win bonus, $2,500 Reebok sponsorship)

UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs Garbrandt – May 29/16 – L (Caraway) – $32,500 ($30,000 to show, $2,500 Reebok sponsorship)

UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs Pena – Jan 28/17 – L (Assuncao) – $35,000 ($30,000 to show, $5,000 Reebok sponsorship)

UFC on Fox: Johnson vs Reis – Apr 15/17 – W (Mendes) – $65,000 ($30,000 to show, $30,000 win bonus, $5,000 Reebok sponsorship)

UFC 214 – Jul 29/17 – W (Barao) – $71,000 ($33,000 to show, $33,000 win bonus, $5,000 Reebok sponsorship)

UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs Ortega – Dec 9/17 – L (Moraes) – $41,000 ($36,000 to show, $5,000 Reebok sponsorship)

UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs Lee – Apr 21/18 – W (Johns) – $77,000 ($36,000 to show, $36,000 win bonus, $5,000 fight week incentive pay)

UFC 228 – Sept 8/18 – W (Stamann) – $88,000 ($39,000 to show, $39,000 win bonus, $10,000 fight week incentive pay)

UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs Velasquez – Feb 17/19 – W (Rivera) – $150,000 ($70,000 to show, $70,000 win bonus, $10,000 fight week incentive pay)

UFC 238 – Jun 8/19 – W (Munhoz) – $156,000 ($73,000 to show, $73,000 win bonus, $10,000 fight week incentive pay)

UFC 250 – Jun 6/20 – W (Sandhagen) – $212,000 ($76,000 to show, $76,000 win bonus, $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, $10,000 fight week incentive pay)

These are incredible earnings, but it’s most likely that Sterling has been paid much more cash in his career from other outside payments.

Aljamain Sterling FAQ

Where was Aljamain Sterling Born?

Aljamain Sterling was born in Uniondale, New York, United States on July 31st, 1989.

He was born to Jamaican parents Cleveland and Sophie Sterling. Aljamain comes from a large family having seven siblings and twelve half-siblings.

What weight is Aljamain Sterling?

Aljamain Sterling currently weighs 135 pounds (61.2 kilograms).  This allows him to compete comfortably in the bantamweight division.

The current limits for Bantamweight class is 126 – 135 lbs.

Where does Aljamain Sterling Train?

Aljamain Sterling trains out of Serra-Longo Fight Team out of Long Island, New York.

Previous to this, Aljamain trained with Team Bombsquad in Cortland, New York.

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