UFC Fight Night 128 Preview: Aljamain Sterling vs. Brett Johns

One of the most anticipated main card fights of UFC Fight Night 128 puts veteran Aljamain Sterling against undefeated Welsh fighter Brett Johns. The fight gives Sterling a chance to reassert himself as a top ten bantamweight while for Johns, it’s a huge opportunity for him to notch a win against a seasoned fighter while extending his undefeated record.

Also showing on this card is the lightweight match-up of Kevin Lee vs. Edson Barboza and featherweight contenders Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson.

Aljamain Sterling Recent Form and UFC Fight Record

Sterling’s key strengths are his grappling, which is also Johns’ main strongpoint. However, Sterling may get the edge against the Welshman if he can be the aggressor by taking Johns to the ground and maintaining a heavy top game.

Res.

Opponent

Method

Event

Loss Marlon Moraes KO (knee) UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Ortega
Win Renan Barão Decision (unanimous) UFC 214
Win Augusto Mendes Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Reis
Loss Raphael Assunção Decision (split) UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña
Loss Bryan Caraway Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs. Garbrandt

Failing that, the ‘Funkmaster’ may be best served by staying on his feet and attacking Johns from range with jabs and kicks, while staying out of range of Johns’ takedown attempts. However, Sterling will still be at risk of being taken down if he uses his kicks (which he tends to use over punches), so he must be cautious in using this approach.

Johns’ Recent Form and UFC Fight Record

Johns has been most effective in using his wrestling and submission game in his unblemished, 15- fight MMA career. While Sterling is also a superb grappler more than capable of submitting his opponents, Johns will likely have the edge over the American in that department.

Res.

Opponent

Method

Event

Date

Win Joe Soto Submission (calf slicer) The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion Finale 01-Dec-17
Win Albert Morales Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio 16-Jul-17
Win Kwan Ho Kwak Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Mousasi vs. Hall 2 19-Nov-16
Win Anthony Gutierrez Decision (split) Titan FC 34 18-Jul-15
Win Walel Watson Submission (rear-naked choke) Titan FC 33 20-Mar-15

Although Johns does have the grappling advantage, Sterling will not be easy to take down. Because of that, it is important that Johns doesn’t wear himself out by ‘spamming’ takedown attempts as he may get tired by doing so, which would allow Sterling to chop him down on the feet.

Aljamain Sterling vs. Brett Johns Prediction

Johns will be able to take Sterling down and, while he won’t do sufficient enough damage to finish, he will certainly do enough to extend his record to 16-0. Bank on a unanimous decision as a safe bet or go bold and call out the Pikey for an early stoppage.

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