No. 1 ranked UFC bantamweight Aljamain Sterling wants to fight champion Petr Yan for the title and he is confused about why he hasn’t yet received the shot. After submitting Cory Sandhagen in the first round of their bout in June at UFC 250, the “Funk Master” called out “No Mercy”.
Sterling is on a five-fight win streak and feels like he is the best choice for Yan’s first title defense. During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan after defeating Sandhagen, he challenged No Mercy, saying he was “coming for that a**.”
A month later, Yan won the vacant bantamweight title by defeating Jose Aldo by fifth-round TKO.
“It’s been a wild past few months and just to think, June was just a couple months back,” Sterling said during a recent episode of his podcast, The Weekly Scraps Podcast. “You would have thought after a performance like that, even a post-fight speech setting up the stage for myself and Petr Yan. I don’t know what it is.”
Update, Wednesday 1:20 p.m. ET: As reported by ESPN, UFC president Dana White revealed that Sterling will fight Yan for the bantamweight title at UFC 256 on December 12.
Sterling Questions His Relationship With UFC President Dana White
Sterling then questioned his relationship with UFC president White and why he hasn’t been offered the bout with Yan.
“I don’t know if I p***** in Dana White’s Cheerios or something,” Sterling said. “Took his Wheaties. I don’t know [if] a girl that liked him might think I’m cute or think I’m hot. I don’t know what I did to the man but it’s pretty fascinating and bizarre all at the same time that I had to do all of this to try and get a title shot.
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“I only did one thing, I just won. Everything else was out of my control. That’s why I’m always like, what will be, will be, because you can’t control the outside forces. You’ve got to just let things happen and play out in life and that’s kind of been the story of my life for a very, very long time. I learned it the hard way. I used to get mad, I used to get p***** off at things and I started to realize, well I can’t control that.
“So, I was like, what is the point of even getting emotionally invested and upset to the point where you’re so angry and your day’s ruined when you can’t change anything. All you can change is what you can do. Go out there, put in the hard work, train, show up on fight night, make sure you’re in the right headspace and try to get your f****** hand raised. And that’s all you really can do. I did just that.”
Sterling Says the ‘Stars Have Aligned’ With Sandhagen Defeatiing Moraes
Moraes was looked at as Sterling’s biggest competition to earn the title shot against Yan. Before his match with Sandhagen, Moraes was 5-1 in his last six bouts, including a KO win over Sterling in December 2017.
“If Marlon would have won, I’m pretty sure that the UFC would have said, ‘Well Marlon deserves another crack because Henry Cejudo retired, he’s a striker, he’s knocking guys out, this would be a great champion for us to have, the Brazilian market, blah blah blah.”
However, Moraes was finished by Sandhagen in the second round by TKO. Considering the Funk Master defeated Sandhagen in his last fight, many argue he undoubtedly became the most deserving pick for Yan’s first title defense.
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