Reigning bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has been training alongside former champion Dominick Cruz.
Sterling is rumored to be set to defend his bantamweight crown for the third time, against Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 on May 6. If the bout does go ahead, Sterling will have a stern test on his hands – while it will mark three years out of the Octagon for Cejudo, he brings with him a combat pedigree like no other.
Cejudo has an Olympic gold medal to his name, along with a 125lb and 135lb UFC title, having capped off his run in the UFC with wins over Demetrious Johnson, T.J. Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes, and Cruz.
To help with his preparation, Sterling has enlisted the help of Cejudo’s former opponent and bantamweight royalty, Cruz.
“I actually just trained with Cody Garbrandt, now I’m training with Dom,” Sterling said. “Two people I kinda went like.. Well we didn’t have the most liking of each other, but with Dom it’s different. I was respectfully calling him out. But, he’s cool.“
‘The main premise of this is to just get good training, good quality work, a good partner who’s smart. I may pick his brains to see if there was anything that he saw.“
Aljamain Sterling & Dominick Cruz
Sterling is coming off a win over T.J. Dillashaw back in October, in a fight that was over before it even really got started after a reoccurring shoulder injury handicapped Dillshaw almost immediately.
As for Cruz, now 37, the multiple-time world champion last fought against rising contender Marlon Vera, where he would be knocked out for only the second time in his career which has spanned almost two decades. It’s unclear who Cruz will face next, but he doesn’t seem willing to hang up the gloves just yet.
Should more fighters train together like Aljamain Sterling and Dominick Cruz?