Head coach Ray Longo is tired of seeing Aljamain Sterling wait for his shot.
Sterling took on Cory Sandhagen on the main card of UFC 250 earlier this month. Many expected this to be a highly competitive fight that had the potential to come down to the wire. Instead, Sterling made a statement by choking out Sandhagen early in the opening frame. UFC president Dana White said Sterling will receive a bantamweight title shot against the winner of Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo.
Ray Longo Wants Aljamain Sterling To Only Sign UFC Contract If Title Shot Is Next
It’s one thing for the UFC boss to say a title shot is next for Sterling but actions speak louder than words. Sterling’s coach, Ray Longo, spoke to MMAJunkie and said Sterling’s next contract should go unsigned unless he gets a bantamweight title opportunity.
“Over here we thought he deserved … this could have been a title fight,” Longo told MMA Junkie on Sterling’s fight with Sandhagen. “You had two really good guys on great winning streaks. Look, technically Aljo might be the uncrowned champ right now. Who the heck knows? But we always believed that he should have been fighting for a title, and if this is what he had to do to get there, to have that one more fight against a guy that’s right up there with him in the division, and that’s what he did.
“He couldn’t have had a better outcome, and now there’s absolutely no question he earned a title shot. … I wouldn’t sign a contract unless it’s for a title. I mean, he earned it. He deserves it, he works hard, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Sterling is riding a five-fight winning streak. In that span, he’s beaten Cory Sandhagen, Pedro Munhoz, Jimmie Rivera, Cody Stamann, and Brett Johns. He’s also gone 7-1 in his last eight outings. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since his knockout loss to Marlon Moraes back in Dec. 2017.
As of this writing, Sterling sits at the number two spot on the official UFC bantamweight rankings. Only Moraes is ahead of him. The “Funk Master” will be paying close attention to the Yan vs. Aldo title bout. That will take place on July 11 at UFC 251.