With Aljamain Sterling considering a title shot and possibly returning June 6, here are three possible opponents for his next bout.
The UFC bantamweight title image is currently an unnormal one at the minute, as Henry Cejudo prepares to make his first defense of the title versus former two-time champ Dominick Cruz, who hasn’t contended considering that losing the exact same title to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 in December2016 This has actually left numerous ideas and concerns regarding what’s next for the division’s existing leading competitors– consisting of AljamainSterling
Sterling might have offered a tip towards what’s next. In a tweet, it appears Sterling might be wanting to go back to the Octagon on June 6.
June 6 was the initially set up date for UFC 251– targeted to be headlined by Alexander Volkanovski safeguarding the UFC featherweight championship versus former champ Max Holloway– prior to the global coronavirus pandemic halted UFC cards for a number of months and moved the whole schedule as we understand it.
Regardless, with Sterling currently at No. 2 in the UFC bantamweight rankings, and having won 4 straight and 6 of his last 7, it appeared Sterling is a proper competitor for the UFC’s 135- pound title. And if he’s not battling for the title now, it just appears best that his next battle is a No. 1 competitor’s bout on a pay-per-view main card or as a UFC Battle Night headliner.
The only concern then becomes who do you set Sterling with for such a battle? Here, in no specific order, are three possibilities.
While this one isn’t the opponent for Sterling that first pertains to many minds (this factor’s consisted of), it has legs. A report from MMAJunkie a number of weeks earlier, and an even more current report from MiddleEasy, recommends that Sterling might be the one who invites former UFC light-weight champ and featherweight title opposition Frankie Edgar to the bantamweight division.
In truth, this New york city vs. New Jersey fight in between Sterling and Edgar was targeted to take place at UFC 244 late in 2015 prior to wrist surgical treatment for Sterling liquified that reported bout. Edgar was set up to deal with Cory Sandhagen for a bantamweight debut prior to he was pulled in favor of a late-notice bout with Chan Sung Jung.
A match with Sterling would fit right in with the UFC’s style of difficult matches for when former champ and big names change weight classes. And with a win over Sterling, it currently sets Edgar up for simply as big a battle with another leading competitor and puts him right in the title image.
A win over Edgar, a former UFC champ, on the other hand, would offer even more powerful trustworthiness forSterling It might be an assistance towards a title shot, too, however possibly that ‘d likewise depend upon other match results and efficiencies from the rest of a crowded division.
To that point, some might argue, possibly while Sterling is a fantastic match- up for Edgar title scene sensible, it might not be the other method around, and in truth, might be more threat than benefit for Sterling than, for example, a chance to avenge his 2017 knockout loss to Marlon Moraes.
Prior to the coronavirus put the UFC’s schedule on time out, Sterling’s next battle was targeted for UFC San Diego on May 16, handling the fourth-ranked Cory Sandhagen. And evaluating by a few of the replies to Sterling’s tweet, it appears fans are still rather thinking about this match, and Sandhagen himself is still very open to the idea.
Making his UFC debut at the start of 2018, Sandhagen scored three straight surfaces prior to scoring a decision win over bantamweight veteran John Lineker at UFC Dawn in 2015 and beating long time UFC bantamweight competitor Raphael Assuncao at UFC 241 in August.
Sandhagen’s still rather more recent to the UFC’s 135- pound scene, however he’s begun to take the division by storm, and a battle with Sterling might go to show he can be in the upper tier of135 On the flip, Sterling currently has such an area and a win over Sandhagen would be a definite defense that he extremely well need to get a title shot.
When Henry Cejudo initially won the bantamweight championship at UFC 238, concerns surrounded who would be next to get a title shot when Cejudo returned in2020 Prior to the battle with Jose Aldo (and now Dominick Cruz) was revealed, the presumption was it would go to Sterling or Petr Yan.
Sterling took a decision win over Pedro Munhoz on the exact same card, while Yan took care of business later on that night versus Jimmie Rivera. Fans and media alike started to select sides and mention both fighters’ defects and strengths. The concerns streamed: Who had the much better efficiency? Who has had the much better wins? Who ‘d be the harder match stylistically for Cejudo?
With months to wait till Cejudo would be cleared once again (and even then when there was the possibility of Cejudo returning to 125 to protect that title), the concept of a No. 1 competitor’s bout (or interim title battle) in between Cejudo and Yan was drifted around the Mixed Martial Arts neighborhood. And now still, it sounds like an enjoyable concept.
You ‘d have Sterling and his wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu capability up versus Yan and his effective and pure striking. Include that both would be wanting to show why they belong at the top of the competitor’s scene, and you ‘d have the makings of a extreme and top-level bout.
Next: Anticipating the champ of each division at the end of 2020
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