Bantamweight fighter Aljamain Sterling, after defeating Johnny Eduardo at UFC Fight Night 80 in early December, became one of the hottest properties on the free agent market. On Monday, he revealed that he had foregone solid offers from Bellator and World Series of Fighting to re-sign with the UFC.
“We’re back (fighting for the UFC),” Sterling revealed on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“The contract was a lot more lucrative than the original (UFC) offer. In terms of the up front money, the back end money, and becoming the champ,” he said in explaining why he had re-upped with the UFC instead of following in the footsteps of Benson Henderson, who recently left the UFC for Bellator. “There’s a lot of things that go into it: the marketing, the publicity. Ultimately, I think I made the right decision. I got some extra incentives in there.”
Having made his way to the Octagon as the longtime defending Cage Fury Fighting Championship bantamweight titleholder, Sterling hasn’t skipped a beat, winning his first four UFC bouts. In addition to defeating Eduardo in his most recent fight, Sterling’s 12-0 record includes wins over Takeya Mizugaki, Hugo Viana, and Cody Gibson.
Currently ranked No. 5 in the UFC bantamweight decision, the road to a title shot is fairly short for Sterling.
“I honestly believe I am the best guy in the division,” he said before adding, “Give the (next title shot) to (Urijah) Faber, that’s the big money fight. After that happens, I think if I get one more win, I’m there.”
Sterling said there are a couple of names being tossed around, but that the first fight under his new deal has not yet been ….View full article