Aljamain Sterling is demanding for a strong push from the UFC.
UFC bantamweight fighter Aljamain Sterling may have just bagged the biggest victory of his career at UFC 214 when he defeated former champion Renan Barao. Now 2-2 in his last four fights, “The Funk Master” is making his demands for his near fighting future.
“Honestly, my next fight better be on the goddamn main card. I’m not even kidding at this point,” Sterling told MMAjunkie. “This is beyond ridiculous if you ask me. (UFC 214) was a blockbuster card on paper, so I get that, but I’m like, ‘Wow, you guys got Barao, a former world champ, on the undercard.’ It’s kind of crazy. But I think I deserve my fair shake at this point.”
“I think I have a big enough name now. I’m eight fights into my UFC career,” he added. “So, why not? Let’s start making some real money, man. I’m in this sport to change my life. I’m in this sport to change my parents’ lives and the loved ones around me. That’s really what I care about. And I can’t do that if they keep putting me on these prelims.”
Entering 2016, Sterling, then unbeaten, was one of the top free agents until he ultimately chose to re-sign with the UFC. At the time, he was happy about the decision he made and the “extra incentives” that came along with it.
Sterling has since grown unhappy with the company he chose to extend ties with and had gotten worse when his request for extra money after agreeing to fight Barao at 140-pounds was turned down by the UFC. Now, he feels was forced to sign his new contract, banking on the idea that he would get better compensation.
“I guess I kind of just took it because it was kind of almost like a ‘take it or leave it’ kind of thing. I was just in a weird spot. At that point, I really felt like my back was against the wall; I really had no other options. I see these other guys, they re-sign contracts all the time.
“So I’m like, ‘Man, I’ve just got to go out there and win, beat some good guys, and I should be able to get a new contract based on increased popularity.’ I think it makes sense. Why not? At this point, why should I have to fight out four more fights at that rate when they’re going to be making more money? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.”