Moments after Raul Rosas Jr. suffered his first professional loss — a unanimous decision to Christian Rodriguez at UFC 287 this past Saturday — Aljamain Sterling sent him a message.
“Rosas, keep your head up kid,” tweeted Sterling. “This game is a marathon, not a sprint. Let me know if you want to train again, without the cameras [though]!”
Ahead of his UFC signing following a successful appearance on Contender Series, Rosas Jr. set some lofty goals for himself, one of which included becoming the youngest UFC champion. That would mean he had to go through Aljamain Sterling, the reigning UFC bantamweight champion who he had a few training sessions with.
From those training sessions (which were allegedly filmed in secret by Rosas Sr.), Rosas Jr. felt he could defeat Sterling if the UFC paired them up ‘right now’. A win over Jay Perrin at UFC 282 this past December only boosted his confidence, and ‘El Niño Problema’ set his sights on an eventual fight with Sterling. However, Rosas Jr. hit a wall in Rodriguez, who dominated him en route to a unanimous decision.
The loss received a mixed reaction from fans and fighters alike. And though some thought Rosas Jr. deserved the ‘ego check’ he got, others, such as Sterling, thought he could grow from it. And with that came the offer to train alongside the ‘Funk Master’ again.
Aljamain Sterling trains with Raul Rosas Jr.
In a recent video on his official YouTube channel, Sterling revealed him and Rosas Jr. training together — without the cameras, as he requested.
“Talking to Raul was cool,” said Sterling. “Learning lessons, man. I think he saw the message I put out on Twitter, and then from there, he reached out to me on [Instagram]. I told him to come down, like, ‘Yeah, let’s talk.’ I wasn’t sure if he was. He said he was going to come down, and I just picked his brain. Asking him who he’s training with, who he’s sparring with, who’s in his corner, who’s his MMA coach and things like that.
“Let him do the talking, I don’t want to talk too much,” continued Sterling. “I like to listen and almost, like, let people figure out their own problems by someone else just hearing them out.”
Rosas Jr. expects to train with Aljamain Sterling moving forward
Now that Sterling and Rosas Jr. have hashed out their differences, the latter has decided to train with the former as he continues his career.
“Today was the first training session with Aljo,” said Rosas Jr. “I think he’s leaving to New York, but we’re going to be training when he comes back. Whenever, like, I have a fight, we’ll train. Whenever he comes back, that’s when we’re really going to start training together. But I decided to train with him because I felt like I just needed sparring partners, more partners that can give me more competition and put me in the worst positions in the training room, so I could get more of that look on what I need to work on.”
Despite previously slamming Rosas Jr. for his ’s—tty’ etiquette, Sterling is still more than willing to have him in the gym ahead of his return to the Octagon.
“I like seeing people win,” said Sterling. “I like seeing people do well, especially people that I know personally or have ever worked with. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a new chapter for him and I told him when I come back to Vegas, we could get some work in. The sky’s the limit.”
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