Aljamain Sterling Done With 135 – Will Stay At Featherweight Following UFC 300

Former bantamweight titleholder Aljamain Sterling (23-4) has let it be known that he will not move back down to 135-pounds following his featherweight debut at UFC 300.

In his most recent octagon appearance, Sterling fell short on defending his title versus Sean O’Malley, and was stopped with strikes in just the second round.

Back in November, it was announced that Sterling would make the jump to 145-pounds. Now, with his divisional debut set for UFC 300 in April, Sterling has expressed his interest in making the move in weight permanent, concluding the bantamweight era of his career.

“Safe to say (I’m done at bantamweight),” Sterling told MMA Junkie. “One of my managers was asking about that, about going down to 135, and I said, ‘Brother, let’s stop this conversation right here.’

“There’s no more 135. I didn’t even want to do it the last time. Whatever, I’m not going to bring it up again because people are going to say I’m making excuses, but this is all factual, but 135 is done.”

(h/t MMAJunkie.com)

Additionally, Sterling explained that he believes the additional 10-pounds will benefit his performance, despite the possibility of a size discrepancy in some scenarios. Sterling continued on the subject and expressed that this change will reinvigorate his career and continue to move him in a successful direction.

“I’m excited to get back,” Sterling said. “I think that’s the most important thing. I want the fans to know I’m excited to get back, and I’m going to have new life, new energy at this weight class.

“I’m definitely nervous because I’m used to being the bigger guy even though I don’t get that big when I rehydrate at 135, but I think I left some stuff in the gym cutting down to 135, so I’d like to see what I can do at 145, and I’m going to shock the world.”

(h/t MMAJunkie.com)

Sterling is widely considered one of the most successful bantamweight champions in the company’s history, and he called the 135-pound division home since the beginning of his time with the UFC in 2014. Now, Sterling will look to mimic the success he found at bantamweight, in the featherweight division.

The next chapter for “Funkmaster” starts this April at UFC 300 when he squares off with longtime featherweight mainstay Calvin Kattar (23-7)

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