Reigning UFC bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling has sights set on making an eventual featherweight division move – likely after his expected fight with former two-weight champion, Henry Cejudo later this year.
Initially expected to feature at UFC 287 on April 8. – Sterling’s return to the Octagon for his next tile defense against Olympic gold medalist, Cejudo, has yet to be made official by the UFC – who have already booked a middleweight title rematch between Alex Pereira, and Israel Adesanya for the event in a headlining slot.
Most recently co-headlining UFC 280 back in October of last year in Abu Dhabi, UAE – Sterling scored the second defense of his bantamweight title reign with a dominant, second round TKO win over former two-time division champion, T.J. Dillashaw.
As for Cejudo, the Los Angeles-born former champion has yet to return to active competition since 2020, where he bowed out of the sport off the back of a title defense win over another former two-time bantamweight kingpin, Dominick Cruz.
Aljamain Sterling plans eventual climb to the featherweight limit
Still expected to stand opposite Cejudo in his next Octagon appearance, Uniondale tactician, Sterling admits bantamweight offers very little else for him beyond that fight with Cejudo – as he weighs up a long-rumored leap to featherweight waters.
“I could see a second round finish, TKO,” Aljamain Sterling said during a recent interview with The Schmo. “After I finish Henry Cejudo, I really don’t think the bantamweight division has anything left for me. Maybe a money fight with Sean O’Malley if he can get his toenails in order and make sure he stays pretty on the sidelines and healthy.”
“He (Sean O’Malley) doesn’t want to fight anybody tough at the top of the division, because he needs time to get ready for the grappling, and I understand [that],” Aljamain Sterling said. “We would kind of run through him right now. So maybe that fight might entice me or I’m probably just going to go up to 145 (pounds) and let Merab (Dvalishvili) continue to reign terror on the rest of these guys in the bantamweight division.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)
Currently at the featherweight limit, incoming UFC 284 headliner, Alexander Volkanovski rules the division roost, with a co-headlining fight at the same event between Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett set to determine the interim division gold holder.