Aljamain Sterling casts doubt on UFC 292 return for title tilt against Sean O’Malley, lists medical issues suffered

Aljamain Sterling backed as bantamweight goat by Jon Anik at UFC 292 he can even lose by head kick in 30 seconds and he's still the greatest

Aljamain Sterling is unlikely to return by August for a highly anticipated showdown with No. 2 ranked bantamweight contender ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley.

Sterling scored his third-straight title defense at UFC 288, besting former two-division titleholder Henry Cejudo in the evening’s main event. Following the contest, ‘Funk Master’ found himself in a heated confrontation with O’Malley in the middle of the Octagon. The confrontation whet fans’ appetites for what many expected to be a summertime clash between the two polarizing combat sports figures. However, Aljamain Sterling has recently tempered expectations, suggesting that a potential meeting at UFC 292 in August would be too quick of a turnaround for him to make.

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During his appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, ‘Funk Master’ was asked about the proposed August date. Instead of giving a direct answer, Sterling awkwardly danced around the question, suggesting that August would be one of the fastest turnarounds for a UFC champion.

“This would be the fastest turnaround I would imagine for a UFC champion. I think [Alexander] Volkanovski was four, four and a half or something like that from the Abu Dhabi card,” Sterling said.

“I just fought one of the baddest dudes in the game, you know what I mean. In a perfect world, it wouldn’t [be August], but at the end of the day, I’m an athlete. I’m a prizefighter at the end of the day so for me, I’m motivated by competition and, of course, the prize.”

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Aljamain Sterling Reveals Injuries Suffered at UFC 288

When asked by Helwani if he was banged up following his 25-minute war with Henry Cejudo, Aljamain Sterling eluded to having some issues to address. “Am I banged up? You know, I got some things. The usual,” Sterling said in response. Elaborating on his comment, ‘Funk Master’ revealed that he would need to have some X-rays done, motioning to his neck and that it would take some time for his feet to heel after smashing them against Cejudo’s body for five rounds.

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“I gotta get an X-ray. I gotta get a couple X-rays still. I crushed my legs on Henry, smashing him,” Sterling revealed. “I didn’t care if I was going to kick his elbow. I didn’t care if I was going to kick his kneecap. I smashed my feet up pretty good so both my feet are pretty swollen. The left one is a lot worse, but it’s victory wounds so it’s all good.”

Despite his non-committal responses, Aljamain Sterling did not completely rule out a return at UFC 292. “If I could start training next week, I think it’s possible,” he concluded.