At UFC 280, Aljamain Sterling retained his bantamweight title and delivered a dominant performance against two-time titleholder TJ Dillashaw.
Following his retention of the bantamweight crown, Sterling made an appearance on ‘The MMA Hour‘ with Ariel Helwani to discuss his latest outing and the aftermath. During the conversation, Sterling revealed that his payday on Saturday pushed his bank account to more than a million dollars.
“My bank account, I finally hit a million dollars comfortably with my three houses and all my other investments, not including those. Just straight up actually breaking that and I’m super proud of that. It might not be something to brag about to other sports, but for someone who’s been in a sport where the pay scale isn’t the craziest, I’m proud to say like of all the things I’ve been able to do. Buy my mom a house, buy myself a house.
“Where I’m at, I’m in a very good place in my life and thankfully it’s because of Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] and those guys. Lorenzo [Fertitta]. All those guys because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have this platform to do this.”
Aljamain Sterling stepped into the co-main event as the UFC bantamweight champion but arrived with little fan support given the controversial nature of his last two fights with former champion Petr Yan. Entering the bout with perhaps something to prove, ‘Funk Master’ put a stop to Dillashaw in the second round via TKO, though it wasn’t without another splash of controversy.
In the opening round, Dillashaw appeared to injure himself early on following a takedown from Aljamain Sterling. As we would find out following the first five minutes, Dillashaw had dislocated his shoulder. Seemingly popping it back into place, Dillashaw came back out ready to continue, but moments later, the injury re-occurred and it was just a matter of time before Sterling seized on the opportunity, forcing the referee to step in and call for the stoppage.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) October 24, 2022
Who’s Next for Aljamain Sterling?
As far as his next big fight, Aljamain Sterling really hasn’t given it much thought, but he certainly didn’t buy into the judge’s scorecards during the Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan fight at UFC 280 last weekend.
“Honestly Ariel, if I’m being honest, I haven’t even thought about it. I literally tweeted to O’Malley last night or two nights ago that I would have actually hung out with the guy. I actually felt bad for Yan. I felt like he got robbed. I think O’Malley was a little shocked and perplexed at the decision as well. Kind of caught him off guard that it was a split decision. It caught him even more off guard when he won and now he knows what it feels like when I was in the same position.”
Fans appeared to be strongly on the side of Petr Yan when the controversial decision was announced to the live crowd in Abu Dhabi. Dubbed as a bantamweight title eliminator, the nature of the decision may force the UFC to rethink giving Sean O’Malley a UFC title shot. No matter who it is, Aljamain Sterling is more than ready to face all comers and prove the haters wrong.
“At the end of the day man, this is the most competitive division. People are going to find any way to discredit me. I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing, racking up these numbers. The W’s won’t lie when you go back and look at the history books.”
As far as potential challengers, Aljamain Sterling acknowledged Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, Sean O’Malley, Petr Yan, and Cory Sandhagen as all possibilities for his next world title defense.