The ‘Funk Master’ has been tied to a world title fight with former two-division champion Henry Cejudo for the past few months, but it appears that a lingering bicep injury will force Sterling to withdraw from the contest slated to go down this March. Appearing on his The Weekly Scraps Podcast on YouTube, Sterling revealed that he is still working to recover and can’t fully commit himself to training for Cejudo with a compromised limb.
“The fight’s supposed to be myself and Henry Cejudo,” Sterling said. “That’s all said and done. It’s whether or not I can compete with this torn bicep again. Going through another training camp with a torn bicep against a guy who’s stronger in the wrestling department.”
“I’m gonna need this bicep to compete at 100% and I don’t take Henry Cejudo lightly, even though I did lay out all the ways I could win and do that for 25 minutes. I gotta make sure I’m in shape and it’s hard to get in shape when I have this thing compromising me the entire time. Yes, I can run. Yes I can do sprints, but I need to make sure I have the grappling endurance to go 25 minutes with a guy like Henry.”
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) January 6, 2023
As a result, Aljamain Sterling ruled out the possibility of fighting Cejudo in March, saying:
“I”m trying to see where I’m at to see is it realistic to fight in March and I don’t think it really is,” Sterling revealed. “So, that’s the scoop on that. If you guys want to be mad at me, it is what it is. I’ve had fans mad at me non-stop for 13 months. It is what it is. It’s kinda water off the duck’s back. I can’t push myself to do something I can’t physically do.”
Aljamain Sterling’s last appearance inside the Octagon came at UFC 280 in October. ‘Funk Master’ successfully defended his title against two-time bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw in a fairly dominant performance, though Dillashaw admitted to coming into the bout injured. The fight was stopped in the second round after Dillashaw dislocated his shoulder in the first. The win extended Sterling’s current win streak to eight.
“Unfortunate events, man,” Sterling concluded. “It’s pretty sh*tty, but this is the way things are right now.”