When Aljamain Sterling defeated Pedro Munhoz to seemingly cement himself as next in line for a bantamweight title shot, he had absolutely no foresight of Urijah Faber hijacking the title conversation. Yet, here we are. After a three-year-layoff, Urijah Faber came out of retirement and picked up an impressive first-round victory over Ricky Simon and, just like that, Faber is lobbying for his fifth world title shot.
A befuddled Aljamain Sterling is not amused, only confused and offended when the idea of Urijah Faber potentially receiving the next bantamweight title shot is brought up. And those ideas were first put in his head by Faber himself, who called out Henry Cejudo after defeating Simon at UFC Sacramento (Transcript via MMA Fighting):
“I didn’t think he’d be that irrational to think that after coming out of retirement after such a long layoff and losing to a guy [Jimmie Rivera] that two guys ahead of him beat,” Sterling said. “I just didn’t think that made a ton of sense. I understand he’s a legend and all that, he just has a huge following and what not, but let’s be real here, the guy’s had four title shots, and right now I don’t think he’s deserving of a fifth.”
Urijah Faber has gone 0-4 in UFC bantamweight championship matches in the past, a fact not at all lost on Sterling. All things considered, Sterling does not grasp how Faber, let alone anyone else, can believe he deserves yet another title opportunity:
“I mean, didn’t we see it already?” Sterling said. “He lost to Jimmie Rivera. I mean, I don’t know if there’ much else to say about that. . . Maybe him and Dominick Cruz could have an old man’s match, the retired fighters. So, maybe they can challenge each other for the retired MMA fighter’s league, the has-beens. So, that’s where I’m at, man. I wanna fight one of these young contenders, one of these guys who deserve it.
“So, that’s where it’s at. I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge and I’ve never been one to shay away from talking a big game. I like to put my money where my mouth is and go out there and perform and do what I gotta do. So, like I said, whether it’s Urijah, Petr Yan, I don’t even know who else there is, because just about everybody else is coming off a loss. So, I’m just waiting for my managers to call and go from there.”
Do you believe Urijah Faber should get a fifth bantamweight title shot?