Ever since Petr Yan claimed the UFC bantamweight title with a win over Jose Aldo at UFC 251, Aljamain Sterling has been campaigning for the first title shot at the new champ. Some of that campaigning happened publicly, with Sterling airing his frustration and confusion at the situation.
However, it seems Sterling can now rest easy in the knowledge that he will soon face Yan for a chance at UFC gold. That’s if UFC President Dana White can be taken at his word.
At his post-fight press conference for UFC Vegas 7 the promotion’s leading man was asked directly whether Sterling would be next for Yan.
“Yeah,” said White. “I’m pretty sure, it’s more than likely going to be Sterling.” (ht MMA Fighting)
White’s less than enthusiastic revelation signals a change in tune from the UFC. Previously White had been coy about whether or not he felt Sterling would get a title shot, telling reporters that he “didn’t know” if Sterling was the number one contender.
But with those ‘games’ (as Sterling called them) now over, the Long Islander can now start planning for his first UFC title fight.
Sterling put himself in prime position to take on Yan after he defeated Cory Sandhagen by submission at UFC 250 this June. That win was Sterling’s fifth win in a row. Prior to Sandhagen he beat Pedro Munhoz, Jimmie Rivera, Cody Stamann and Brett Johns.
He reeled off those wins after suffering a KO loss to Marlon Moraes in late 2017.
Before beating former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo for the belt, that was vacated by the ‘retired’ Henry Cejudo, Yan pulled off six straight UFC wins. He is currently undefeated in the promotion, which he joined with a win over Teruto Ishihara in June, 2018. He holds UFC wins over Urijah Faber, Jimmie Rivera, John Dodson, Douglas Silva de Andrade and Jin Soo Son.