Saturday, November 26, 2022

Report: Aljamain Sterling Vs. Henry Cejudo Targeted For UFC 284

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani reports that the UFC hopes to book Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo for UFC 284 in Perth, Australia.

Helwani reported the news of the targeted Sterling/Cejudo matchup during a recent episode of The MMA Hour.

Sterling defended his UFC bantamweight title against TJ Dillashaw just days ago at UFC 280. He defeated Dillashaw via a second-round TKO in his second title defense as champion.

Sterling has won eight fights in a row since a knockout loss to Marlon Moraes in Dec. 2017. He earned the title via disqualification against Petr Yan at UFC 259 before successfully defending it against Yan in a split decision at UFC 273.

If Helwani’s report proves accurate, Cejudo will earn an immediate bantamweight title shot after a nearly three-year hiatus from competition. He defeated Dominick Cruz in his final title defense at UFC 249 before vacating the belt and retiring.

UFC Reportedly Planning On Booking Aljamain Sterling Vs. Henry Cejudo Next

Aljamain Sterling, Henry Cejudo

Sterling and Cejudo have gone back and forth over the past year regarding a potential fight. After Sterling hinted that Cejudo would need to beg to earn a title shot, it appears Cejudo won’t need to after all.

Cejudo re-entered the USADA testing pool earlier this year in hopes of a UFC return. After a meeting with UFC matchmakers Hunter Campbell and Sean Shelby, Cejudo called for a fight against Sterling.

Cejudo has also called for a super fight against UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski, although it appears Volkanovski will face Islam Makhachev for the lightweight belt. He offered to step in to face Volkanovski earlier this year following Max Holloway’s withdrawal.

Sterling has flip-flopped when it comes to his interest in a fight with Cejudo. After seeming open to the matchup, he recently expressed fear that the fight wouldn’t pique the interest of fans.

The booking would also nullify UFC President Dana White’s previously articulated plan of making the Sean O’Malley/Petr Yan winner the next title challenger. O’Malley defeated Yan via a split decision at UFC 280.

UFC 284 will take place on Saturday, February 11th on the UFC’s second pay-per-view card of 2023. The potential Makhachev/Volkanovski title fight could also be booked for the event.

What do you think of the rumored/planned Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo matchup?