Sterling On Fire In Bantamweight Division

Aljamain Sterling believes he’s the man to beat in the bantamweight division.

Sterling cemented himself as the next fighter in line for a title shot following his impressive first-round submission win over Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250 this past weekend. That victory put him on a five-fight winning streak as well which includes wins over Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera.

However, it will be Petr Yan and Jose Aldo competing for the vacant bantamweight title next when they meet at UFC 251 on July 11. Regardless of who wins on the night, “Funk Master” believes nobody can truly be considered king at 135 until they beat him.

“Petr Yan may fight Jose Aldo and he may win the belt or Jose Aldo may win the belt but people are going to always look and see ‘you’ve got to beat this guy first’ and it gives me comfort knowing that people are behind me and realizing that my skills are dangerous and I’m a real threat to this division,” Sterling told MMA Fighting. “In order to be considered the best, you have to take me out.

“I feel like I’ve kind of got that Tony Ferguson effect right now. I’m that guy hanging in the wings right now. I think people are really starting to pay attention and take notice of my skills and capabilities. You put me in there with anybody at 35 or 45, I get on your back, I take you down, it’s going to be a long night and it’s a dangerous situation to be in.”

Many really started to give credit to Sterling after how quickly he disposed of the highly-talented and previously undefeated Sandhagen.

And based on that win along with his current streak, Sterling feels he can be considered the top bantamweight in the UFC.

“I’m going to say so,” Sterling responded when asked if he was the best 135-pounder. “Until someone goes out there and proves it otherwise. I took out the No. 4 guy in the world the way I did and I don’t think there’s a lot of guys doing that to Cory Sandhagen.

“He said it himself. I saw him after the fight when we got back to the hotel and he called me an assh*le obviously jokingly but he was like ‘much credit to you, go out there and get the belt. For you to do what you did to me, that’s not easy to do’ and gave me a lot of respect.”

Do you think Sterling has a case to be the best bantamweight in the world right now?