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UFC champion Aljamain Sterling won’t sign TJ Dillashaw fight contract without pay increase

The next UFC bantamweight title fight isn’t a done deal just yet.

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling.
UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling.
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

While there is much anticipation and excitement for the reported men’s bantamweight title fight between champion Aljamain Sterling and former champion T.J. Dillashaw, there’s still one issue to settle before we see this fight happen.

On his official YouTube channel, Sterling revealed that he hasn’t signed the bout agreement yet. The sticking point? His pay. More specifically, the lack of an increase in his fight purse for what will be this second title defense.

“There’s no fight until there’s ink on paper, and as of right now, my contract is exactly the same,” Sterling said (via MMA Junkie).

Sterling recently revealed that his purse for his UFC 273 win over Petr Yan was $400,000, in response to Michael Chandler’s comments on fighter pay and the UFC’s revenue split with fighters. He’s been quite vocal on the topic of fighter pay for years, whether for himself or the UFC roster. In this instance, the focus is on not having a pay escalator in his contract for the Dillashaw bout.

“Usually, when it’s not a title fight, when you win a fight, there’s an escalator,” Sterling said. “There has been no escalator in this fight. I’d like to think that I played my part, did the right things and even allowed myself to be the bad guy in the last outing with Petr Yan, and help play up the storyline.

“So one would think that being a company man will actually help you in the long run. So I did my job. As of right now, I’m training, hoping that we come to some type of agreement to give some type of pay bump – which naturally happens in all the contracts.”

If Sterling vs. Dillashaw does get signed, it would be slated for September 10th at UFC 279 in a location TBD. In the meantime, Sterling is looking to secure the bag after his triumph over Yan.