UFC champ Aljamain Sterling: ‘After I finish Henry Cejudo, I don’t think bantamweight has anything left for me’
Aljamain Sterling thinks Henry Cejudo could be his final fight at bantamweight.
The reigning UFC bantamweight champion, Sterling says he will likely defend his title against Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in May but doesn’t see too many options outside of “Triple C.” Sterling (22-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) acknowledges that No. 1 contender Sean O’Malley is a lucrative option, but with teammate Merab Dvalishvili on the cusp of title contention, Sterling says a move up to featherweight is imminent.
“I could see a second-round finish, TKO,” Sterling told The Schmo. “After I finish Henry Cejudo, I really don’t think the bantamweight division has anything left for me. Maybe a money fight with Sean O’Malley if he can get his toenails in order and make sure he stays pretty on the sidelines and healthy.
“He doesn’t want to fight anybody tough at the top of the division, because he needs more time to get ready for the grappling, and I understand. We would kind of run through him right now. So maybe that fight might entice me or I’m probably just going to go up to 145 and let Merab continue to reign terror on the rest of these guys in the bantamweight division.”
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Although he’s never missed weight, Sterling also mentioned how strenuous the cutdown to 135 pounds is for him, which factors into his decision to possibly move up a division.
“Could be I got dense bones,” Sterling said. “I get pretty heavy. People are calling me a weight bully now, because they’re running out of excuses why I keep winning. I win because I put in the work. I do very meticulous work. I prepare very well. I train my ass off. I cut the weight the right way. I show up, I perform, I win.
“(145 pounds), it would make things a little bit easier, probably keep my body a little more healthy, because I won’t have to deplete myself as much. I’m 167 this morning; I’m cutting down to 135. It’s a lot of weight. Everyone else is doing it. They don’t say anything about Islam (Makhachev) being a weight bully. They don’t say nothing about Khabib being a weight bully.”