Aljamain Sterling reveals torn bicep issues; Sean O’Malley pushes for Henry Cejudo fight


UFC bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling on Tuesday revealed he is still suffering from a torn left bicep and doesn’t think it’s realistic to face former two-division champ Henry Cejudo in March.

Sterling said Cejudo’s wrestling style required specific training that would make his injury worse, and he said he needed more time to get healthy. Sterling and Cejudo were expected to meet early this year.

“I’m going to need this bicep to compete at 100 percent, and I don’t take Henry Cejudo lightly. Sterling stated that I need to keep in good shape. “Yes, I can run, yes I can do sprints – those are all cool, but I need to make sure I have the grappling endurance to go 25 minutes.”

A person close to Sterling told MMA Fighting that he isn’t expected to undergo surgery to repair his torn bicep, but is receiving physical therapy as well as visiting doctors to discuss a treatment plan.

Sterling later expanded on this history of his injury.

The apparent delay is another round of frustration for top bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley, who called for a title shot after beating ex-champ Petr Yan on the undercard of UFC 280 in which Sterling defeated ex-champ T.J. Dillashaw.

“Is [AljoComain] fighting Henry or not I’m confused? O’Malley wrote on Twitter. “He Said his bicep is torn. If that’s the case let me beat up Henry.”

Cejudo was tested for drugs in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency drug pool last year, hoping to make a comeback. The Olympic gold medalist wrestler stepped away from the sport in 2020 after defending the bantamweight title; he sought bigger paydays to incentivize him against getting out of the fight business.

After a long period of limbo with the UFC, which wasn’t thrilled with his sudden departure, Cejudo jumped to the front of the line when O’Malley didn’t wow UFC President Dana White at UFC 280. O’Malley has gone unbeaten in his past five fights including his win over Yan.

Cejudo responded later to O’Malley’s Tweet.

Sterling stated that he decided to give priority to his health after considering all his options.

” If you want to get mad at me it’s what I am. I’ve had fans mad at me nonstop for 13 months. This is water from a duck’s head. I can’t push myself to do something I can’t physically do. I’ve fought twice in a calendar year, and I’ve fought both of those fights compromised … and I got through those fights. … It’s the fight before the fight. We’re fighters, we all go in there compromised, but what I’m trying to not have happen is to go through an entire training camp, or almost an entire training camp, waste four to six weeks, maybe seven? Who wants to see that? What’s the point of taking on that third chance? .”

If I snap my neck, it will require surgery

He stated that Cejudo was able to enjoy “physical benefits” as he wasn’t actively fighting, and was instead “doing what” in the drug pool. He stopped short of accusing Cejudo of performance-enhancing drug use, but pointed out a loophole in USADA’s testing program upon a fighter’s retirement.

Sterling later responded to O’Malley on Twitter.