Mike Grundy fills in to meet ex-UFC champ Aljamain Sterling in Polaris 25 grappling match

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Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has been dealt a curve ball.

Originally slated to meet fellow UFC fighter Nathaniel Wood, Sterling is now set to meet former UFC fighter Mike Grundy in a grappling match on Sept. 30 at Polaris 25 in Wales.

Sterling, 34, currently fights at 135 pounds. Grundy, 36, fights at featherweight.

Sterling (23-4 MMA, 15-4 UFC) won the bantamweight title in March 2021 by disqualification against Petr Yan. After an injury layoff, he beat Yan again 13 months later. After title defenses against ex-champs T.J. Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo, Sterling ran into a problem.

At UFC 292 last month, he was knocked out by Sean O’Malley in the second round. He lost the belt, and had his nine-fight winning streak snapped. It’s unclear what his next move will be in MMA, but he’ll still compete in this grappling match despite the change in opponent on just 12 days’ notice.

Grundy (12-4 MMA) went 1-3 in four UFC appearances and was released from the promotion following a three-fight skid. He most recently lost in 57 seconds to Makwan Amirkhani by technical decision via anaconda choke in March 2022 at UFC Fight Night 204.

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