UFC Bantamweight Defends Aljamain Sterling Against Weight-Cutting Criticisms

Criticism of UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling‘s cut to 135lbs has been challenged by a surging prospect.

Sterling is expected to return later this year to defend his bantamweight title, potentially against Henry Cejudo. He hasn’t fought since a win over TJ Dillashaw last October at UFC 280.

As hate towards Sterling persists from some fans, so too has hate from some of his fellow bantamweights. Marlon Vera, who could be one win away from a title shot, recently questioned the ethics regarding someone of Sterling’s size cutting down to 135lbs.

Sterling cuts a significant amount of weight to make the 135lb limit. Vera says because of his massive weight gain in between fight camps, he shouldn’t be allowed to fight at bantamweight.

One of Sterling’s bantamweight colleagues has his back against critics who feel his weight cuts are a form of cheating.

Javid Basharat: Aljamain Sterling’s Weight Cut Isn’t Cheating

During a recent interview with Inside Fighting, Javid Basharat weighed in on the debate surrounding Sterling’s cuts to 135.

“If they’re making the weight, they’re making the weight,” Basharat said. “Why is that an issue? Ideally, yes, I hope that there would be a 140lb weight division and a 130lb weight division, because everyone kept talking about a 165lb division. It never really made sense to me. Why have 165 and 170 and then 155? When you look at the roster…the bantamweights, flyweights, featherweights are actually the ones cutting the most weight…I don’t know why all these guys are complaining.

“I think they’re just finding things to hate on with Aljamain to be honest with you and they’re just picking at his weight or whatever. Weight cutting has been a part of this sport since Day 1. These other guys need to really focus on what cheating really is.”

Calls for additional weight classes have been made for years, including by prominent voices such as commentator Joe Rogan. However, UFC President Dana White has repeatedly shut down this idea.

Sterling has teased a move to featherweight in the future, especially if his teammate Merab Dvalishvili continues rising the ranks. He’s expected to defend the bantamweight title at least one more time before a possible move up.

A future matchup with Sterling isn’t out of the realm of possibility for both Vera and Basharat. After a 2021 win on Dana White’s Contender Series, Basharat has won back-to-back fights, with his next fight later this month.

Weight-cutting will likely continue to be debated going forward, although Basharat feels Sterling’s successful cuts to 135lbs are fair game.

Do you agree with Javid Basharat’s take on Aljamain Sterling?

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