Aljamain Sterling still has his sights on one name in particular and no, we’re not talking about Sean O’Malley.
Instead, the former UFC Bantamweight Champion wants to collide with one of the absolute best in a weight class above: Max Holloway. Like Sterling, the fighting Hawaiian held gold for a while and currently holds down the #1 spot in the UFC rankings.
Sterling’s Intentions Behind Calling Out Holloway
Sterling has made it more than clear that he wants Holloway for his featherweight debut, despite a previous offer to fight another top contender in Calvin Kattar.
“If I’m gonna go up to 145, I wanna go big or go home,” Sterling said on the Jaxxon Podcast. “I’m not here to take second place. So I said, if the best is blessed, let’s take on the best and let’s go against Max Holloway and see how that goes. I think I go out there, I beat the guy.
“I mean, why not? [He’s] very dangerous, but I like that. That gets me excited, cause a guy like that, arguably one of the greatest featherweights of all time, would probably still be the champion if it wasn’t for a guy named [Alexander] Volkanovski. I go out there and beat the man. I think it puts me right there for the next title shot.”
‘That’s A Dog Fight Right There’
‘Funkmaster’ understands the task at hand in a potential fight with Holloway, a fighter who has consistently kept contenders from reaching title contention in recent years.
“I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy,” Sterling continued. “That’s a dog fight right there. I’m gonna have to dig my heels into the ground and really have to like put some real trench work in. Max got hands, he doesn’t kick as much as he used to anymore. I think I could use that as an opportunity to kinda score some points, hopefully look for my takedowns eventually. I think on the ground I can actually get ’em, but I got a lot more pop at 145 when I’m like this, when I hit the pads, man, I feel like a different person. I really do.
“It’s a scary fight. I think that’s the next guy. It is gonna be a real test to see where I’m actually at, where I fit in at that weight. I mean, you see when he’s done to a lot of these other elite featherweights out there. So that’s not an easy fight, not by any means.”
Aljo’s Attitude Isn’t Changing
Sterling fought the best in the world at bantamweight and that he’ll look to make that a recurring theme in a move up to featherweight. After all, for a while there the best was ‘Blessed’.
“I always prided myself on taking on the biggest and best challenges that I could get when I was a champion. I fought the best guys that they put in front of me. I didn’t duck or dodge anybody. I didn’t ask for this fight cause it’s the money fight. I want the next guy who was the next on merit on paper, who’s the next best guy? Who’s the baddest man that you think could beat me? Alright, line him up.
“That was my style, my attitude into my title reign and even on my way to get to the title,” Sterling said.