We could finally witness Aljamain Sterling fight for the UFC Bantamweight Championship against Petr Yan. Soon after Cory Sandhagen picked up an impressive stoppage win over #1 bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes, Aljamain Sterling put out the following tweet.
Despite stating that Aljamain Sterling vs Cory Sandhagen back at UFC 250 would be a #1 contender's match for the championship belt, UFC President Dana White failed to keep his word at the time. Going into UFC Fight Island 5, there was a buzz that should Marlon Moraes get a victory over Cory Sandhagen, he would get the title opportunity next against Petr Yan. However, that didn't turn out to be the case. Additionally, Cory Sandhagen advocated for Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan in his Octagon interview.
However, Dana White has not yet confirmed the next opponent for Petr Yan and in an ideal scenario, there should be no doubt regarding the next title contender in the bantamweight division.
After the loss to Marlon Moraes, Aljamain Sterling has gone on a rampage. He has beaten some of the best bantamweights in the UFC such as Cory Sandhagen, Pedro Munhoz, Cody Stamann, and Jimmie Rivera. His impressive performances and his rivalry with Petr Yan should force White to make this fight happen. But, White does not seem to be sold on the idea that Sterling is the rightful owner of the next title shot.
Sterling explained how UFC has overlooked him and denied him the title shot that he deserves in the latest episode of his podcast. Sterling stated:
"There's no more dodging and dancing around the fact that I should be the number 1 guy. I think I was the number 1 guy last year when Pedro Munhoz knocked out Cody Garbrandt and then I beat Pedro Munhoz. That should have put me back in the number 1 spot. Then I fight Cody Shanhagen, I get the win there. I was told this was the number one contender fight, it didn't happen. Then enter Dominick Cruz. He gets thrown in there. "
Sterling also criticized UFC for handing Jose Aldo a title shot despite him losing to Marlon Moraes.
Who else might fight for the title before Aljamain Sterling?
Nobody in the division deserves the title shot more than Aljamain Sterling. Besides Henry Cejudo, former bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw is another option that UFC might consider for the next opponent of Petr Yan. Dillashaw is looking to return sometime in 2021 and there's a reason to believe that White could be leaning towards former champion. Petr Yan does have a few interesting matchups for him in the division. However, it can not be denied that Aljamain Sterling is the rightful owner of the next title shot.Published 13 Oct 2020, 22:53 IST