Aljamain Sterling Moves On From Movsar Evloev Matchup, Targets Different Ranked Featherweight For The Sphere

Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has appeared to lose patience with the undefeated Movsar Evloev.

Sterling announced his arrival in the featherweight division with a successful divisional debut at UFC 300 this past March. “Funk Master” utilized his grappling to limit all of Calvin Kattar’s offense en route to the scorecards.

Since then, much of the discussion regarding Sterling’s sophomore outing at 145 pounds has involved Evloev, who sits three places above the ex-bantamweight at #5 in the rankings.

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While the pair expressed mutual interest in the fight, they’ve since been at odds over its apparent delay, with both throwing blame at one another.

Evidently, Sterling has now had enough of that back and forth…

Sterling Adjusts Sights From Evloev To Lopes

During a video recently uploaded to his YouTube channel, Sterling provided an update on his future plans, as he looks to climb toward the gold at 145 pounds in pursuit of two-division glory.

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With a lengthy period of discourse with Evloev not resulting in an official booking, “Funk Master” expressed frustration at the Russian’s ongoing “excuses.”

And with that, he has a fresh name in mind for his desired appearance at the Sphere for Noche UFC this fall.

“Stay tuned. Hopefully we’ll have some fight news for you guys. I’m thinking about Aljamain Sterling vs. Diego Lopes as the Sphere,” Sterling said. “That has a nice ring to it.

“Movsar, I don’t know what the hell he’s doing. I gave him a date, he hasn’t accepted yet. He started making all these excuses,” Sterling continued. “Either you want to fight on my terms or I’ll go fight somebody else. So, Diego Lopes, if you oblige, let’s make it happen at the Sphere, September 14.”

Interestingly, Evloev’s different take on why the long-discussed fight with Sterling isn’t coming to fruition has also led him to the doorstep of Lopes and a potential rematch.

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Lopes is one of the fastest-rising names in the division, having followed a competitive short-notice debut against Evloev last May with four straight wins, the first three of which came in the opening round.

Most recently, the Mexico-based Brazilian defeated Dan Ige in a UFC 303 matchup that came about on just hours’ notice following the extremely late withdrawal of Brian Ortega.

While Lopes remains outside the top 10 and four places below Sterling in the featherweight pecking order, “Funk Master” seemingly wants to capitalize on the hype around the 29-year-old’s name on a major platform this September.

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