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UFC’s Aljamain Sterling details overcoming abusive childhood in gripping short film

When he looks back on his childhood, Aljamain Sterling remembers being “a broken kid with no direction.”

All because of his father.

“I don’t have a lot of positive memories of my dad,” Sterling says. “He made us feel small, weak, stupid, useless.”

“Not Broken,” a 14-minute short film directed by Rory Karpf and produced by Corey Frost for the UFC, takes a close look at Sterling’s upbringing in his own words, as well as those of his mother, younger brother, younger sister, and girlfriend.

Sterling and his family share harrowing details of him being the target of the brunt of his father’s abuse – which included alleged domestic violence against his mother – and how wrestling helped Sterling gain confidence and strength, even as his dad discouraged it, and transformed him into the UFC bantamweight contender he is today.

“He was very just self-driven, self-motivated,” Sterling’s girlfriend, Rebecca Cruz, said. “Part of that drive was just anger and kind of just trying to prove a point where, you know, ‘Dad, I could do this without you. I could do this on my own.’”

Said his sister, Sofari Sterling: “Looking at all the past trauma he’s experienced to where he is now, he’s already a champ.”

You can watch the full film in the video above.

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