Ex-UFC Featherweight King Jose Aldo Is Most ‘Deserving’ of Title Fight

Jose Aldo

Getty Jose Aldo

Undisputed UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling believes Jose Aldo should receive a title shot over TJ Dillashaw.

Sterling and former bantamweight champion Petr Yan rematched during UFC 273 on April 9 in Jacksonville, Florida, and once again, the “Funk Master” got his hand raised and the belt wrapped around his waist. In their first meeting, which took place at UFC 259 in March 2021, Sterling took “No Mercy’s” belt by disqualification after Yan hit him with an illegal knee.

Fast forward over a year later and they finally met in the middle of the Octagon to settle the score. This time, the fight went all five rounds and to the judges’ scorecards. Sterling was crowned champion via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47).

During a recent interview on “The MMA Hour,” Sterling said he wouldn’t shy away from a third fight with No Mercy.

“If he wants to be 0-3 against ‘The Funk,’ we can make it happen,” Sterling said via MMA Fighting. “If you look at his record, two of those losses are from me, so if he wants a third, we can do it again.”

But, Sterling has another challenge in mind in the form of the ex-UFC featherweight king, Aldo.


Sterling Believes Aldo Is More Deserving of a Title Fight Than TJ Dillashaw

Aldo is ranked No. 3 in the 135-pound weight class, and he’s currently riding a three-fight win streak. And in Sterling’s eyes, Aldo has done enough to warrant himself another bantamweight title fight.

During the Funk Master’s post-fight interview with Joe Rogan at UFC 273, he took the opportunity to call out Dillashaw, an ex-bantamweight champion. But, he’s reversed course, saying that Aldo is “more deserving” than Dillashaw.

“When I thought about it afterward, I was like, he really doesn’t deserve it,” Sterling said. “He really didn’t earn it. Maybe it’s just because I heard the narrative so much, that he was gonna be getting the winner of myself and Yan when we were supposed to fight in Abu Dhabi. … So maybe I just got wrapped up in that.

“Honestly, if I think there’s anyone more deserving, it would probably be [Jose] Aldo after beating Rob Font, if we’re doing the merit system. That would be the most rational in terms of merit, like what have you done for me lately. Even Dominick Cruz – these guys all got big names. T.J., I don’t know how he got in the mix, but somehow I just felt like he was the next guy, so I just threw it out there. I wasn’t even really thinking about it, to be honest.”


Sterling Is ‘Fine’ With Fighting Dillashaw Next

Dillashaw returned to the cage in July 2021 after serving a two-year suspension for testing positive for EPO, a performance-enhancing drug. The 36-year-old combatant beat Cory Sandhagen by split decision and he’s currently ranked No. 2 in the division.

And the Funk Master wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC tosses him Dillashaw next, which is “fine” with Sterling.

“I knew he was there, I know that’s what the UFC wants to do, so that’s probably why I even said his name,” he said. “But it’s a fun fight. The fans know him, he’s got a big resume, and to beat a guy like that only adds to my resume and my legacy…

“I’m here for money. I think all these guys, in my opinion, are relatively the same in terms of skill set, so I think if I had to pick, T.J.’s fine with me.”

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