Aljamain Sterling might have hit the highest point of his MMA career to date as the reigning UFC Bantamweight world champion but he’s still got the time to take on a grappling match against Damien Nitkin at the recent High Rollerz 18 event. Not only did he decide to take on Nitkin but he actually emerged victorious after a hard-fought match against the experienced BJJ black belt. Nitkin is an active competitor in the Las Vegas circuit while also spending his time teaching as the head instructor and co-owner of Atlas Grappling.
The result shouldn’t come as much of a surprise really though, considering that Sterling is known for his fantastic wrestling ability in MMA and is a BJJ black belt in his own right under Matt Serra. While it was a surprise appearance at the event, High Rollerz have been known to pull several tricks out of the bag for their events and not one goes by without something unusual happening. They aren’t averse to featuring elite MMA competitors either, as a tournament at High Rollerz 10 actually featured Bellator Featherweight world champion AJ McKee as one of the entrants.
When Aljamain Sterling and Damien Nitkin took to the cage at High Rollerz 18, they were meeting in a six-minute match with an overtime period if necessary. Sterling put Nitkin under pressure from start to finish and got to demonstrate his fantastic guard-passing and top control during the regulation period. While the overtime period still didn’t produce a finish, Sterling was awarded the decision victory thanks to his work during regulation time. It remains to be seen if Sterling will make competing in grappling tournaments a habit moving forward, especially seeing as he will likely be busy preparing for a constant stream of challengers for his UFC title.
The footage of Aljamain Sterling taking on Damien Nitkin at High Rollerz 18 was uploaded to the promotion’s official YouTube channel: