Former undisputed bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling has confirmed plans for a featherweight division leap in his return to the Octagon early next year, eyeing a fight with former division champion, Max Holloway in his first venture at the weight class.
Sterling, who headlined UFC 292 back in August most recently, suffered a spectacular second round TKO loss to arch-rival, Sean O’Malley in the pair’s championship fight in Boston, Massachusetts, seeing his record-setting title reign come to a crashing halt.
As for Holloway, the Hawaiin striker extended his winning run to two straight fights back in August at UFC Singapore, turning in a devastating third round knockout win over former multiple-time title challenger, Chan Sung Jung. The win came after a unanimous decision win for Holloway over British contender, Arnold Allen earlier this year in another main event slot.
Aljamain Sterling eyes “stylistic” fight with Max Holloway next
Sharing his thoughts on his immediate fighting future, Sterling stressed his interest in fighting Holloway in his first venture to the featherweight limit in the opening quarter of next year, claiming the bout represented a good “stylistic” clash for him.
“It’s a good stylistic fight,” Aljamain Sterling told The Schmo. “I don’t think he’s (Max Holloway) fought someone with the wrestling pedigree. I mean, he’s fought a guy with good grappling, BJJ, but he couldn’t get the takedown and get the control that he needed to utilize that grappling. I could utilize the grappling and I could utilize the wrestling. Just gotta be smart, a little bit more patient, not like the last fight, of course.”
“I think after having this long of a break, I just feel more refreshed, more refined, and I feel like the time off has given me more clarity and will get me back to the old me and not making rushed mistakes,” Aljamain Sterling explained. “I don’t know. That fight, it is what it is. It happened. We’re just ready for the next step.”
Who wins in a future fight: Aljamain Sterling or Max Holloway?