Aljamain Sterling recently lost his bantamweight title to “Suga” Sean O’Malley at UFC 292. The Long Island native is now scheduled to fight featherweight prospect, Nathaniel Wood in a grappling event organized by Polaris Pro Grappling.
The event, Polaris 30 is scheduled for September 30, 2023, in Wales England. Polaris is the premier professional grappling promotion in the UK and Europe. UFC is known to allow their fighter to compete in grappling events outside the promotion.
Aljamain Sterling set for Polaris 25 showdown
The main event of Polaris 25 is none other than Aljamain Sterling versus Nathaniel Wood. Wood who competes in the featherweight division of the UFC competed in bantamweight before. Wood is one of the new-wave fighters from the United Kingdom. He won his most recent bout against Andre Fili in the recent UFC London fight night.
In the Bantamweight division of the UFC, Aljamain Sterling stands among the most dominant fighters in the sport’s history. As he prepares for his debut in the Polaris event, where he’s set to go toe-to-toe with Nathaniel Wood, anticipation among fight fans is at an all-time high.
Sterling’s journey to this point has been nothing short of extraordinary, with a string of impressive victories over top-tier opponents like TJ Dillashaw, Henry Cejudo, and Renan Barao within the Octagon.
— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) September 8, 2023
What truly sets Sterling apart is his phenomenal grappling prowess, a skill that has been pivotal in securing his UFC championship gold. His black belt under the tutelage of the renowned Matt Serra attests to his exceptional ground game.
On the other side of the octagon, Nathaniel Wood, who has recently transitioned to the featherweight division in MMA, maintains a spotless record. This undefeated streak underscores his own grappling capabilities, which he is eager to put to the test against Sterling, widely regarded as one of the UFC’s all-time greats.
As a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Brad Picket, Wood has consistently showcased his submission skills throughout his career, amassing numerous victories by forcing his opponents to tap out. With the upcoming showdown on September 30th, Wood aims to add yet another submission victory to his impressive list, setting the stage for a clash of grappling titans that promises to be an unforgettable spectacle for MMA enthusiasts around the world.
Sterling wanted bantamweight title rematch in 2024
It was assumed that Sterling’s next fight would be against Sean O’Malley in a rematch in the early part of 2024. Being a dominant champion at bantamweight where the title-holder doesn’t hold it for long, sure does speak to his forte. O’Malley is rumored to fight Marlon Vera in December and any hopes of Sterling getting an immediate rematch was shut down both by O’Malley and Dana White.
Even though, O’Malley defeated Sterling by TKO in the second round, the accusations of the fight being stopped early were high. Aljamain Sterling and Merab Dvalishvili were adamant that the fight was stopped prematurely. Aljamain Sterling earned the biggest pay-day of his career at UFC 292 with the event garnering north of 570,000 pay-per-view buys. It is significantly more than the north of 300,00 buys for UFC 288 headlined by Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo.
If Merab Dvalishvili gets the title shot before Sterling, it is more than likely that the former champion will be moving up in weight to fulfill his dream of becoming a double champion. Dvalishvili and Sterling are friends and training partners and will not fight each other for money as they have already proclaimed.
What do you think of the matchup between Sterling and Wood at Polaris 25? Do you think Sterling will become champion again in the UFC? Comment below!