Former undisputed bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling has revealed he still plans to make good on a prior earmarked featherweight division move off the back of his title fight loss at UFC 292 back in August, revealing he underwent a series of tests to determine his suitability to the weight class.
Sterling, a former undisputed bantamweight champion and current number one ranked division contender, has been sidelined from the Octagon since he headlined UFC 292 back in August in Boston, Massachusetts, suffering a stunning second round knockout loss to new champion, Sean O’Malley.
Expected to make his return to the Octagon next year, Uniondale native, Sterling had been weighing up a potential featherweight divisional move prior to his UFC 292 defeat. And recently, the Serra-Longo MMA staple confirmed he had rejected an offer to fight Boston native, Calvin Kattar in a featherweight bow.
“Breaking news, I was offered (Calvin) Kattar, amongst three others,” Aljamain Sterling said. “Two other guys were actually friends so I said, ‘Respectfully, I would actually like to decline those.’ One of them was coming off a loss, and Kattar was the highest-ranking opponent out of them all.”
“I like Kattar,” Aljamain Sterling explained. “I’m just not really looking to go up and take a chance, I don’t mind taking a chance, but I’m not going to say, ‘Hey, I’m coming here for second place.’ If I go up, I’m going up to be number one. There’s no half-assing this process. That’s the thing I have to figure out.”
Aljamain Sterling still expects featherweight move
However, with a fight against New England Cartel staple, Kattar off the table, Sterling insists he is still likely going to make a featherweight debut in his return to the UFC.
“Checking my weight, lean body mass versus fat in my entire body, and I actually check out to be an average-sized featherweight, which is crazy to me because every time I look at these featherweights, I feel like they’re so much bigger than me,” Aljamain Sterling said on his YouTube channel. “… It gave me a lot of comfort in where I’m at and making the move to 145.”
“…Psychologically, I still feel like I need to be the biggest guy because that’s just what I did at bantamweight… I need to make sure I’m gonna be okay… comfortable, confident that I can win and compete with guys in that weight class.” (H/T MMA News)
Who would you like to see Aljamain Sterling fight in his featherweight debut?