Aljamain Sterling targets featherweight debut against calvin kattar at UFC 299: ‘That could be the fight’

Aljamain Sterling

Aljamain Sterling is ready to conquer a new weight class.

The former UFC bantamweight world champion surrendered his 135-pound crown to current titleholder Sean O’Malley in August, forcing the ‘Funk Master’ to make a tough decision. He could either stick around at bantamweight and be inevitably forced to fight his friend and fellow contender, Merab Dvalishvili, or walk away from the division and test out his skills at 145.

During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Aljamain Sterling not only suggested that his rumored featherweight debut could come as early as UFC 299 in March, but he has a pretty good idea of who it could be against.

“The realistic scenario is probably myself and Calvin Kattar,” Sterling said. “He’s the only one, I think, who doesn’t have a fight; he’s been out for a bit as well. At this point, by March, I’m probably going to be out for a bit as well, so with that being said, that could be the fight.

“But a Max Holloway fight would be a nice one too. Two former champions going at it, Max doesn’t really have much to do right now unless he’s going to up to 155 pounds; that’s just speculation, but if he gets busy, or, if I should say, if he gets bored, you know Max, the best is ‘Blessed’ but you know the ‘Funk’ has something to say about that as well” (h/t Sportskeeda).

A win over Kattar Would Immediately Put Aljamain Sterling into the featherweight title picture

Aljamain Sterling has previously pushed for a fight against former featherweight champion Max Holloway, but with ‘Blessed’ eyeing a potential move to lightweight, a clash with Calvin Kattar appears to be the next best option for Sterling.

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Kattar has been on the shelf since suffering a torn ACL in the opening seconds of the second round against Arnold Allen at a UFC Fight Night event in October 2022. Despite losing three of his last four inside the Octagon, ‘The Boston Finisher’ is still occupying the No. 7 spot in the featherweight rankings.

A win over Kattar could immediately thrust Aljamain Sterling into the division’s top ten and put him within reach of a fight against reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski.