OFFICIAL! Former bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling confirms move to 145-pound division and guns for Max Holloway fight
Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has announced his move to the featherweight division and intends to take on former featherweight champion.
Aljamain Sterling wants to fight Max Holloway ( Image via Imago )
Aljamain Sterling has officially announced his move to the featherweight division. Sterling reigned as the bantamweight champion for over two years. He accomplished numerous accolades in the bantamweight division. Following the loss against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292, he aims to compete in featherweight for his next UFC fight.
Aljamain Sterling expressed interest in facing Max Holloway in his first featherweight bout. Speaking to Demetrious Johnson on the Mighty Gaming, this is what Sterling said:
I go in and win one fight against a guy like Max Holloway, I mean, I don't think there's anyone else to turn to. That guy is the one who is literally banishing all the contenders one by one, so if he's going to keep dispatching these guys, it's new blood, a new face.Aljamain Sterling via Mighty Gaming
Aljamain Sterling became the bantamweight champion by winning the title through a unique circumstance. He faced Petr Yan at UFC 259, and Sterling won the fight by disqualification due to an intentional illegal knee by Yan. This marked the first time in UFC history that a fighter won a championship by disqualification.
Then, Sterling faced Sean O’Malley at UFC 292. O’Malley won the bout, causing Sterling to lose the bantamweight title. Aljamain Sterling declared that he would like to make his comeback and enter the new division at UFC 300. If not, then the former UFC bantamweight champion aimed for March of 2024 to make his comeback.
Daniel Cormier advises Aljamain Sterling against moving to the featherweight division
Daniel Cormier has expressed skepticism about Aljamain Sterling’s move to the featherweight division in the UFC. Cormier advised Sterling against changing weight classes, questioning the decision.
Aljamain Sterling, in response, expressed interest in proving Cormier wrong. He has eyed a potential fight with the former featherweight champion, Max Holloway. Cormier dislikes Sterling’s move away from the bantamweight division, especially after losing his title in that weight class. In a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Daniel Cormier said:
I think he should stay at 135. I think that's the right weight class for him...people switch weights when you're looking for a change because you're not finding success or you can't make the weight anymore.Daniel Cormier on Aljamain Sterling’s featherweight move.
Sterling initially planned the move but seemed determined to avenge his UFC 292 title bout loss. Aljamain Sterling wanted to avenge his UFC 292 loss to Sean O’Malley, indicating a potential rematch.
His recent criticism of the UFC’s decision to book Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera 2 further suggested his focus on seeking redemption. Will Sterling fight in bantamweight one last time before moving to face Max Holloway in the featherweight division? Only time will tell.
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