Aljamain Sterling downplays Henry Cejudo’s title reign, Cejudo responds


Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo are already laying the groundwork for a bantamweight title clash.

At UFC 280, Sterling defended the bantamweight title with a second-round TKO of former two-time champion T.J. Dillashaw. Although the performance was mired in controversy because Dillashaw entered the fight with an injured shoulder, the win still marked Sterling’s second title defense and firmly entrenched him atop the 135-pound division.

After the fight, UFC President Dana White said that Cejudo might be a good choice for Sterling’s next title challenger. “The Funk Master,” however, was not a game to speak at the post-fight press conference ..

“It all depends on timing,” Sterling said. “It depends on the offer. Henry may be good, but the guys aren’t understanding. Grappling has many levels. It’s not an inside leg trip match and lay in my guard, brother. You’re going to have to work. You’re going to have to work.

“He can talk about distance and say, “Oh, he opens his eyes,” while he is IG-doodling. He’s smart, funny and cute. But he has to deal with another cerebral fighter. It would be very competitive and I believe my strengths will outweigh his. He’s going to need to keep it standing the entire time, and what’s he going to do when I actually get him down to the ground. Like I said, I take you down, I backpack you up, and that’s a wrap.”

It may prove more challenging than Sterling thinks it is to take down Cejudo, who isn’t only an Olympic gold-medalist wrestler but also a UFC flyweight champion and bantamweight champion. But despite Cejudo’s many accolades, Sterling still feels that the ex-champ doesn’t have the same quality of resume.

“I love MMA,” Sterling stated. The belt was not vacant after Cejudo beat Marlon Morais. He fought Dominick Cruz on the couch, and he took it because it was an opportunity of a lifetime. If we’re being honest here, we are not the same. I fought guys with full training camps, I fought guys with wins and credentialed ability. Yes, Marlon Morais may have made me sleepy, but I look at where he is and where I am. … I returned and proved that I was still one of, if not THE best man in my weight class.

” If Cejudo would like it, Dana [White], What’s Up? What’s the Hunter [Campbell],? Let’s chat, let’s discuss money. Money talks, bulls*** walks, so let’s get it going.”

It seems that Cejudo really wants it. After Sterling’s interview post-fight, Triple C responded with an aggressive Instagram posting.

“Well congratulations, Alja-s***-stain. Your leftovers keep on beating you. Congratulations. I took that dude out in 32 seconds. I took the dude out in 886 seconds. Let’s not forget. You guys all are taking care of my belt. All you sorry-ass 135-pounders. There’s one king and his name is Triple C. Sign the contract, ho.”

Cejudo retired from MMA in 2020, following his title defense against Dominick Cruz, but he suggested that he’d return for a price. The former champion is a constant presence in MMA, constantly teasing his return.

Recently, he returned to the USADA testing pool in pursuit of a featherweight title shot against Alexander Volkanovski.