According to popular MMA figure Ali Abdelaziz, UFC bantamweight king Aljamain Sterling will put his title on the line next year in a clash against the returning Henry Cejudo.
‘Funk Master’ produced a dominant performance in the co-main event of UFC 280 last month, destroying an injured T.J. Dillashaw in the second round of their highly-anticipated bout. Following the win, the 135lb champion insisted that he’ll be taking a short break from the octagon to capitalize on some well-deserved vacation time.
During a recent interview, Ali Abdelaziz ensured fans that Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo have already agreed on a deal to compete for the bantamweight title, with the bout set to take place in 2023.
“I can’t wait for my boy Triple C [Henry Cejudo] to come back. I like Aljo, I consider Aljo a friend. Aljo is fighting Henry Cejudo, it’s done. It’s done. It’s just that the UFC said it’s done, he knows it’s done. I understand he [Sterling] wants a different fight, but the man [Cejudo] never lost his belt. He’s a two-time champion, defended both belts, and he left on his own. He didn’t leave because he lost or [he got] injured, he just needed time off… I disagree with Aljamain, I think it’s a big fight, it’s a tougher fight… I already know what’s up, he’s fighting Henry.”
Cejudo’s last appearance in the octagon was over two years ago when he put on a great display and finished Dominick Cruz to retain the bantamweight title, subsequently retiring following his win.
Check out what Ali Abdelaziz had to say about Aljamain Sterling’s next title defense in the video below.
With Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo reportedly official, what’s next for the rest of the bantamweight division?
As rumors surfaced suggesting that Aljamain Sterling is booked to defend his 135lb strap, a number of top contenders may have to wait for their chance at UFC gold.
Sean O’Malley earned fans’ respect following his war against Petr Yan last month, and although he is the #1-ranked bantamweight in the world, it looks like he’s not getting the next shot at the champ.
Another competitor on a tear throughout the division who may not get a chance to fight for the title is the heavy-hitting Chito Vera, a man who is riding a four-fight win streak against some of the weight class’s top fighters.