Aljamain Sterling Delays Henry Cejudo Fight Until May, Hints It May Be His Last Dance At Bantamweight

'Funkmaster' maps out his future, says Henry Cejudo could be his last fight at bantamweight.

Sterling 135
(via @funkmastermma - Instagram)

Aljamain Sterling puts a halt to reports of him fighting Henry Cejudo at UFC 287 in April. 

Sterling Confirms He’ll Be Fighting In May

The UFC Bantamweight Champion says he won’t be ready for his next title defense until a month later in May. While the recovering Sterling’s next move has been delayed yet again, one thing is for sure, he’ll be facing Cejudo in his return. 

“Henry ‘Triple Zero’ is next, 110%,” Sterling told The Schmo. “It’s not gonna be April though. After talking with my medical team and the doctors, we’re gonna give myself a little bit more time and it’s gonna be May. It’s kind of crazy how everything kind of comes full circle. After the fight, I knew I had these injuries going into the fight before the rematch with Yan, then the TJ fight kind of kicked the can down the road and I knew eventually I was gonna have to get it done. So here we are.

“I think the stem cells with Bio Accelerator is gonna be very good. I’m very optimistic about that and I think’s gonna get me back to 100% so that I can compete against a tough competitor like ‘Triple Zero’. I remind him that he should have stayed retired.”

‘I’m Gonna Show Up The Way I Show Up’

Sterling isn’t worried about any criticisms about his timeframe from Cejudo or anybody else for that matter. For ‘Funkmaster’, his goal is to be as healthy as possible when it comes his turn to defend the bantamweight strap.

“I’m gonna show up the way I show up,” Sterling continued. “[Cejudo] knows what’s bothering me already. I’m gonna get it to as close to a hundred percent as I possibly can. The same way I went out there for my last two fights. And the same way I’ve gone out there for almost every single fight. A fighter goes out there, we’re never 100%. We try to make sure we’re as healthy as possible. It’s no different for TJ. It’s no different for Cejudo, Petr Yan, doesn’t matter who you are. So you step in that cage, you make the choice to sign that dotted line. Pretty much, you seal your fate. Whatever happens, may the best man win. I just feel like that best man is always gonna be me.”

Potential Move To Featherweight

Should Sterling defeat Cejudo when they eventually meet, the champion doesn’t feel there’s much more work for him to do in the bantamweight division and considers a move up to featherweight. 

“I could see a second round finish TKO and after I finish Henry Cejudo, I really don’t think the bantamweight division has anything left for me,” Sterling added. “Maybe a money fight with Sean O’Malley if he can get his toenails in order and make sure he stays pretty on the sideline and healthy. He doesn’t wanna fight anybody tough at the top of the division because he needs more time to get ready for the grappling. I understand, we kind of would just run through him right now. So maybe that fight might entice me or I’m probably just gonna go up to 1 45 and let Merab continue to reign terror on the rest of these guys at the bantamweight division.

“Could be,” when asked if this would be his last fight at bantamweight. “I got dense bones, man. I get pretty heavy. People are calling me a weight bully now cause they’re running out of excuses of why I keep winning. I win because I put in the work… 145, it would make things a little bit easier.”

Published on February 2, 2023 at 3:44 pm
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