UFC bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling is not sure where he stands in the title picture.
Sterling cemented himself as one of the top contenders in the division following an impressive decision win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 238 earlier this month. It made it four straight wins for the Long Island native. On the same night, Henry Cejudo became the bantamweight champion following his TKO win over Marlon Moraes.
However, Cejudo, who is also the flyweight champion, won’t be in action anytime soon as he recently underwent surgery for his shoulder. Though no fault of his own, “The Messenger” is ultimately tying up two divisions with his absence according to Sterling:
“It really all depends,” Sterling told MMA Junkie. “I haven’t quite seen for certain when (Cejudo is) going to be coming back. I’ve heard two different things. I’ve heard he’s getting ankle surgery, and he’s going to be out for nine months. But then I saw him post that he was getting shoulder surgery. … I’m not exactly sure how long he’s going to be out.
“This just ties the two divisions all over again. I hope it doesn’t turn into a circus all over again like it did with T.J. [Dillashaw] going down and tying up the division. I just don’t want to see this division get tied up after we just got fresh new life. Everything is going well right now in terms of people are excited about the bantamweights.”
Sterling Confused By Cejudo’s Callouts
There is another issue even if Cejudo comes back — whether he defends against the top contenders. Following his win over Moraes, the newly-crowned two-weight champion called out the likes of Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt and Urijah Faber.
This only confused Sterling, who believes Cejudo is running scared of the division’s new threats:
“I’m really confused by what’s going on,” Sterling explained. “At least Petr Yan’s got a little bit of balls. I’m not sure where Henry Cejudo’s balls are at. I think he might have left them somewhere with Marlon. Maybe he realized this division is really tough, so he’s calling out the guys that he thinks will be the easiest go for him.
“But honestly, I’m starting not to blame these guys, because if I were these guys, I don’t really know if I’d want to fight these guys either. I don’t know where these guys win. I don’t really see it. I’m getting better every time I step in there. I just can’t see any way these guys win.”
In the meantime, there have been calls for Sterling to face Petr Yan in an interim title fight to decide who faces Cejudo next. However, nothing is confirmed as of yet.
Do you think Sterling poses a major threat to Cejudo?