Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Bisping Compares Aljamain Sterling’s Emerging GOAT Status With Stipe Miocic’s

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has used Stipe Miocic’s heavyweight reign as a reference for assessing Aljamain Sterling‘s claim to bantamweight GOAT status.

At UFC 280 last month, Sterling dealt another blow to his doubters by adding a second successful defense to his record. While his rule initially came under scrutiny for the way in which it began, “Funk Master” certainly proved himself worthy at UFC 273 when he retained the belt with an impressive five-round display against Petr Yan.

And in Abu Dhabi six months later, Sterling added the name of a divisional great to his résumé in the pay-per-view co-main event. He did so by quickly finishing an injured TJ Dillashaw via TKO in round two.

With the victory, Sterling etched his name in the history books by extending his win streak to eight, marking a new UFC bantamweight record. That achievement, as well as another he can secure in his next appearance, has left some pondering where Sterling fits into the GOAT conversation at 135 pounds.

When he returns to the Octagon in 2023, Sterling will have the chance to defend the title for the third consecutive time — a feat that no bantamweight champion has accomplished.

For one UFC Hall of Famer, there’s no reason why a third defense wouldn’t leave Sterling at the top of the historical bantamweight pile.

Bisping: ‘3 Is Good Enough For Miocic, Why Wouldn’t It Be For Sterling?’

During a recent appearance on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, Sterling was asked where he’d place himself in the bantamweight GOAT discussion. While the champ noted that it’s up to the fans to attach that label to a fighter, Bisping chimed in with his take on the debate.

“The Count” noted the fact that legendary heavyweight Stipe Miocic is widely regarded as the greatest of all time in his division with three straight defenses. With that, he questioned why the same attitude wouldn’t apply for Sterling.

“On that, Aljamain, look at Stipe Miocic. I think he defended it three times, so he’s statistically regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all time,” Bisping said. “So, you do the math. If you’re the only one to defend it three times, if it’s good for Stipe, it should be good for Aljo.”

While it’s unknown who Sterling will look to secure more history against next year, he’s certainly not short on possible candidates. As well as the seemingly impending return of former champ-champ Henry Cejudo, Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera are also sitting in contention following impressive victories.

Do you agree with Michael Bisping? Will a record third defense of the bantamweight title cement Aljamain Sterling as the divisional GOAT?

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