What Is Aljamain Sterling Waiting For?
Ranked second in the UFC’s bantamweight rankings, Aljamain Sterling has been patiently waiting for Dana White to select his name for a title opportunity. Based on his most recent performance, he believes he is the right man to have one.
Sterling (19-3) spoke to The Schmo about the bantamweight title scene. As he continues to earn wins, fighters like Jose Aldo and Dominick Cruz are getting UFC Bantamweight Title opportunities. Recently, White has not confirmed whether Sterling will even be close to a title shot, even if Sterling has video proof.
“Honestly, I don’t know what Dana’s waiting for,” Sterling stated. “I don’t know if I pissed on his Cheerios or something, talked to his ex-girlfriend, I have no idea. But Dana knows the fight to make and I think he’s going to do the right thing. I think he just had to get over the jet lag from Abu Dhabi. Maybe he forgot hot great the performance was and how quick it was, so it’s hard to remember. I’ve got the camera, I’ve got the film, he said I was the next guy.”
The New Yorker, now living in Las Vegas, only needed one round to take out Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250. This came after months of being away due to surgery. “Funk Master” is currently on a five-fight win streak.
Sterling has been making his case for a title shot, seeing how busy everyone in the division appears to be. Marlon Moraes, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, is set to face Cory Sandhagen. Meanwhile, Cody Garbrandt, ranked third, will be moving down to flyweight. That leaves him alone with Petr Yan, who has had an interest in facing off against Sterling.
“Yan’s a pretty smart guy,” Sterling went on to say. “He’s intelligent and I think he’s honorable in terms of the fight game, and fighting number one contenders and not looking for these clown fights. I think that’s what builds your legacy, not jumping around and trying to fight the guy who is not even ranked or not on a win streak. I want to fight the best guys, he wanted to fight the best guys. Obviously, you see the banter we have going back and forth for almost a year now. I’m still coming for that a**, Pete.”
Coach Ray Longo believes Sterling shouldn’t fight again until he gets a title shot. This is after Aldo, who lost his bantamweight debut, earned a title shot earlier this year. He would face Yan for the vacant title when Henry Cejudo retired and relinquished the belt. Yan would win via TKO at UFC 251.
Sterling is ready for his moment to shine. He’s just looking forward to a call from White himself.