UFC: Aljamain Sterling Demands Title Shot Against Petr Yan
The UFC bantamweight division has emerged as one of the most exciting weight-classes in the organisation. With the new champion Petr Yan yet to have his first title defence bout booked, Aljamain Sterling looks like the front runner in many people’s eyes to take on the Russian.
Dana White Delays
Despite a devastating 88-second bulldozing of Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250, Dana White seems reluctant to hand ‘Funk Master’ his title shot. Speaking The Schmo (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), Sterling said however, that’s he’s optimistic the UFC president will ‘do the right thing’ and give him the next shot at the 135lbs title.
“Honestly, I don’t know what Dana’s waiting for,” Sterling said. “I don’t know if I pissed in his Cheerios or something, talked to his ex-girlfriend, I have no idea. But, Dana knows the fight to make and I think he’s gonna do the right thing. I think he had to just get over the jet lag from Abu Dhabi. Maybe he forgot how great the performance was and how quick it was, so it’s hard to remember, but I’ve got the camera, I’ve got the film, and he said I was the next guy.”
Everything seems to be pointing towards Sterling getting his shot at UFC gold, including other top-ranked fighters. With Cody Garbrandt dropping down to flyweight to take on the champion Deiveson Figueiredo, and Marlon Moraes set to fight Cory Sandhagen on October 10th, ‘Aljo’ appears to be the perfect dance partner available to take on the champion, Yan.
The Champ Makes His Desires Clear
Following his fourth-round stoppage of Jose Aldo at UFC 251, Yan even called out Sterling in his post-fight interview with the title freshly wrapped belt around his waist for the very first time.
“Yan’s a pretty smart guy,” Sterling said. “He’s intelligent and I think he’s honourable in terms of the fight game and fighting number one contenders and not looking for these clown fights. I think that’s what builds your legacy, not jumping around and trying to fight the guy who is not even ranked or not on a win streak. I want to fight the best guys, he wants to fight the best guys, and obviously you see the banter we have going back and forth for almost a year now. I’m still coming for that ass.”
Like any good matchup, a bit of bad blood can only help on the marketing side of things. Yan and Sterling have been providing plenty of promo material by poking jabs at each other on social media, with the challenger believing that the champion is overhyped and a good matchup for him.
“I’ve been wanting to fight this guy for a very long time because I don’t think he’s this great boogie man that everyone says,” Sterling said. “I’m not saying he’s not good. I know he’s talented, and I’m gonna have my hands full, but I think my style, stylistically I shut that man down and I think I can finish that fight as well.”
If Petr Yan versus Aljamain Sterling gets booked, who wins?