UFC bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling wants into the exclusive champ-champ club … telling us he plans to fight Henry Cejudo in May, and then wishes to go up a weight class to fight champion Alex Volkanovski!
First things first, 33-year-old Aljo, the #7 ranked UFC pound-for-pound fighter, has 36-year-old Triple C in his sights.
“We’re slated for May 6, that’s what we’re thinking right now,” Sterling told Babcock on the “TMZ Sports” TV show (airs nightly on FS1), despite admitting he likely won’t be totally healthy after tearing his bicep last year.
But, Aljamain says if he decides to fight, there are no excuses.
“If I make the decision to sign on the dotted line, I’m signing on the dotted line and we’re gonna fight no matter what it is at the time. I don’t give a s**t about that. Henry has some stuff he’s dealing with. I have some stuff I’m dealing with. All fighters have stuff they’re dealing with. It’s just whose the better man that night.”
After the Sterling-Cejudo fight, assuming Aljo’s victorious, that’s when things could really get interesting … because he believes he’ll have earned an opportunity to move up a weight class, and fight
“I fought a lot of the best guys,” Aljo says, making his case for a title shot at featherweight. He continued … “How much do I have to do to say ‘Ok, this guy finally deserves an opportunity to go up and see what he can do at 145.’ I’m getting older. I’m on an 8-fight win streak right now and I want to test myself and take the opportunity.”
Of course, Volkanovski — the featherweight champ (145 lbs.) — lost an incredibly close fight to lightweight champ (155 lbs.) Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 … in his bid to join the double champ club.
As for how a fight with Volk would look … Aljamain Tweeted last year, saying he believed he could take down and submit Alex, and while it’s a 7-month-old message, his opinion hasn’t changed all that much.
“There’s a couple of factors. That was at 155. So he had a little more weight. Maybe not as depleted as he would be at . I would be coming up to 45, not being as depleted as much as I am at 35.”
And, that’s why Sterling likes his chances.
FYI, only four fighters in the UFC’s history have ever held two belts simultaneously: Conor Mcgregor, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes and Cejudo.
We also talked to Aljo about his side hustle … making music. Sterling just released a track titled “Go Dumb”, featuring his brother Troy, who raps under the name Troy Grindz.
“This is something I always wanted to do, my brother’s been the musician of the family, he’s always been very, very good lyrically,” Sterling says … but in a competitive industry, his bro’s had trouble gaining traction.
Enter Troy’s famous brother.
“It’s been hard for him to promote himself, but it’s something I always wanted to do, but fighting kind of called my name first. I think I was a better fighter than I was a rapper. I always wanted to make a song with him, so this was a cool opportunity now that I had some downtime,” Aljo says.
We asked Aljamain if this was a one-time thing, or if he may make more music.
“I’m looking forward to doing a second song with him as well ’cause I got something else in the chamber that I think will be some heat, as well!”