Aljamain Sterling Feels Jose Aldo Is Hardest Fight Over TJ Dillashaw, Henry Cejudo

Sterling has plenty of options when it comes to his second bantamweight title defense.

Aljamain Sterling

Aljamain Sterling has plenty of options when it comes to his second bantamweight title defense.

Sterling is coming off his first title defense after outpointing Petr Yan via split decision in their highly-anticipated rematch.

In the process, “Funk Master” also erased all doubts about his validity as the undisputed champion.

The attention now turns to who he could face next and there are plenty of candidates.

Jose Aldo has called for a fight while TJ Dillashaw is itching to reclaim his bantamweight crown. There’s also former two-weight champion Henry Cejudo who recently reentered the USADA drug testing pool.

Sterling assessed all three of them in a recent interview.

“I think [the UFC] knows who’s the money fight and who moves the needle,” Sterling said in a recent appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast (via MMA Fighting). “I don’t know if it’s Aldo who moves the needle. I know T.J. definitely moves the needle — you can ask USADA. Then Cejudo, so there’s options.”

Aljamain Sterling: Jose Aldo Might Be Hardest Fight

While he will fight whoever is put in front of him, Sterling naturally wants the fights that will further his legacy.

In that case, even Dominick Cruz — currently riding a two-fight winning streak — would be an option. However, Sterling feels Aldo would be the toughest fight for him.

“If I’m going to be honest, if I just want to fight, like which one would be the best for my legacy? I think T.J. or Aldo in terms of like, ‘I fought this guy.’” Sterling said. “Even a [Dominick] Cruz.

“For some reason, I feel like the hardest fight out of all of them is Aldo.”

With that said, it’s possible Sterling doesn’t end up campaigning for a fight with Aldo as he would rather have an easier legacy fight along with a greater chance of remaining champion and getting paid.

“Right now if it was my choice, I mean I feel you’d want to pick the fighter you feel like you would definitely beat, right?” Sterling explained. “For a title defense, I feel like you would want to do that so you could keep the belt as long as you can. Make some money.”

In the end, it’s all down to who the UFC matchmakers pair him up with.

As for when that could be, Sterling is targeting a return to action in September. And he may even have fight news to share soon.

“Probably September,” Sterling added. “I think that’s the next Vegas card. I’m supposed to get news either today or tomorrow who they want us to be the next guy. So what I am going to do? I am going to release that information as soon as I get it, but it’s going to be on my podcast.”

Who do you think Aljamain Sterling will face next?

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