Aljamain Sterling has been hard on the campaign trail to be the first challenger to Henry Cejudo’s reign as UFC bantamweight champion. The biggest threat to his #1 contender status was viewed as Petr Yan, who is currently on an eight-fight winning streak, that is until Urijah Faber crashed the conversation.
It is very difficult to make an argument for Faber being deserving of a world title shot based on recent merit alone, so the biggest argument to be made for a Faber title shot is because of Faber’s drawing power opposed to Sterling’s. Aljamain Sterling questions the legitimacy and evidence of such an argument:
“If it was a GSP and coming off of a big win, coming off of retiring from the belt like GSP has done in the past, and coming back and just wanting to fight for the belt immediately, it makes sense,” Sterling told MMA Fighting. “But Urijah’s not that guy. So, it does not make any sense whatsoever. I think he’s a huge draw in Sacramento.
“So, for him to be away for so long, come back with such a big win – don’t get me wrong, it was a great performance on his part in terms of the finish, I just think there’s a hierarchy now. He left the queue, and now he re-entered the queue. So, if he wants to come back and challenge for a world title, more power to him, but he’s gonna have to do it on my terms and wait for the shit.”
So if Urijah Faber does not have a legitimate case for a title shot based on merit or name alone, then Sterling should feel secure in his chances at being next in line for a world title fight, right? Sterling has learned to never make assumptions in this sport:
“It’s MMA, man, the wild, wild west,” Sterling said “You can just expect that anything can happen, and that’s just where I’m at with things. I’m ranked number two in the world for a reason. I put in the work, I put my time in. The fans know that I deserve the shot. Even the casuals know I deserve a shot, the people who might not be the hardcore fans. But I think my performance and my work speaks for itself. And at the end of the day, if Faber is the guy who jumps in there with me or Petr Yan or whoever it is for the interim title, I’ll be more than happy to oblige to either one of those tasks.
“At the end of the day, I’m not really worried,” Sterling continued. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world that things are gonna go accordingly and according to plan, and I’ll be getting that long-awaited title shot.”
Do you agree with Aljamain Sterling? Is Urijah Faber not a big draw?