Rising bantamweight prospect Aljamain “Funkmaster” Sterling was calling out almost every man in the division, desperately looking for a fight. The young contender even said that he would have to consider retirement if he wasn’t offered a fight, but he finally found an opponent, and he may have awoken a sleeping lion.

Sterling will meet fellow top 10-ranked veteran Johnny Eduardo at UFC Fight Night 80 on December 10, 2015. “Funkmaster” has expressed extreme confidence in looking for an opponent, and has recently said that he’s going to wreck Eduardo come fight night, but the Brazilian feels differently.

Recently speaking on the topic, Eduardo said that Sterling has never faced a fighter of his caliber, and that he can smell the fear in the New York native:

“It’s just the opposite. He’s a frustrated man who tries to rise overnight, and that’s not how things work in the fight business,” Eduardo told MMAFighting.com. “There’s a thing called respect, and you have to respect those who entered many battles. He’s trying to get in my head but he’s using the wrong strategy. He’s scared. He never fought someone at my caliber, someone with my intelligence, my power, my experience, and that’s why he’s trying to get inside my head. I can smell his fear.”

Apparently Eduardo took offense to the way Sterling called him out, and the Brazilian believes his huge experience advantage will be the different when he meets the “kid” in December:

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“He called me out in a negative way, trying to humiliate me and my team, talking trash about Brazil, but he’s just a kid,” Eduardo said. “He’s just a kid. He’s just starting, and has a lot of things to learn. I fight professionally since he bought his first Playboy to jerk off in the bathroom, so this type of game, this trash talk, means nothing to me.

“I want to put on a show on December 10 not only for him, but for all the fans at the arena. I’m working hard. I won’t let this trash talk get inside my head. I’ll go there and do my job the same way I always did. I’ll do my best. Let him spend his energy talking. Let him talk.”

However, that doesn’t mean Eduardo is underestimating the “Funkmaster” either, and at the end of the day, he’s thankful to be fighting on the card:

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“He has a good wrestling, he’s tough, and has an unorthodox striking that forces his opponents to enter first,” Eduardo said. “He doesn’t go forward all the time, he has a different strategy, but I’ve fought many guys like him before, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to go there and fight.”

Despite his experience advantage, Eduardo has been away from the Octagon for well over a year nursing a shoulder injury which may hurt him. However, he’s happy that he’s been handed a tough challenge for his return:

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“The UFC is looking at me with different eyes now, giving me a ranked, rising prospect,” he said. “I’m happy with this opportunity, happy to be back, and be able to do a great camp. They didn’t give me a nobody, they gave me a tough challenge, and that’s what I want. Those kinds of challenges make me happy.”

Although he has indeed been out of action for quite a bit of time, Eduardo doesn’t feel as if he has lost a step, as he trains with top fighters at the famed Nova Uniao in Brazil:

“It’s even worse because it’s a daily fight against excellent athletes,” he said with a laugh. “Since my fight with Wineland, I helped Barao, Aldo, ‘Dudu’, Marlon Sandro, Felipe Olivieri, and a lot more. I’ve been training and sparring with top fighters every day.”

Which rising 135-pounder will continue his quest to the top?