The bantamweight contenders will battle at UFC on FOX 23 this Saturday, which will go down in Denver, Colorado. The two were originally scheduled to fight last month at UFC FN 102, but Sterling had to withdraw due to injury.
Recently Assuncao spoke with MMA Junkie Radio about this weekend’s scrap, and while discussing Sterling, the veteran said this (quote via MMA Junkie):
“I think I’ve seen what he brings to the table,” Assuncao said. “Once I get in the octagon, it changes everything. I’m sure he’s trying his best to get better and train hard, but I think I’ve seen it all. He’s not going to surprise me.
“I’m not going to be overly cocky about it, but at the end of the day, I think I’ve seen it all. He proposes some dangers, and I’ve got to be watchful for what he brings to the table.”
Now, Sterling fans might view these comments as shots the 27 year-old, New York fighter, but Assuncao has fought in nearly 30 pro bouts. Not only that, but the 34 year-old has taken on athletic, well rounded fighters in the past, like Sterling. Case in point, Assuncao has a win and a loss versus TJ Dillashaw.
Another interesting storyline tied to this bout is the fact that Sterling is coming off a split decision loss to Bryan Caraway, while Assuncao decisioned the latter.
This is a big fight for both Assuncao and Sterling, as both contenders are looking to get back on track. Assuncao lost via UD to the aforementioned Dillashaw in his last bout.