Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling understands why charisma is simply as massive part of discovering success within the UFC as preventing. Nonetheless, he can’t fathom why the UFC would skip over different contenders to offer Sean O’Malley a rematch with Chito Vera.
“Chito’s No. 6, dude, I don’t even…there’s a narrative line,” Sterling stated on The MMA Hour. “We signed [to merge with] the WWE…why are we making this a WWE sport?”
Sterling would really like an instantaneous rematch with O’Malley regardless of a second-round knockout loss to the present champ at UFC 292. If O’Malley decides to attend till 2024 to battle once more, he believes his legacy as champ is robust sufficient to warrant an instantaneous rematch.
“As you stated, champions flip round, they do it on a regular basis,” he stated. “So we’re gonna maintain you to that Mr. Sean, you’re gonna flip round and do it like all the opposite champions, as properly.”
If O’Malley jumps again within the cage earlier than the top of the 12 months, nevertheless, Sterling believes his longtime good friend and teammate Merab Dvalishvili ought to get a title shot.
Sterling and O’Malley each stated their UFC 292 assembly was the most important enterprise the promotion has finished at bantamweight. However O’Malley instantly known as for a rematch with rival Vera, who three years in the past broke his unbeaten streak, and UFC CEO Dana White was not completely happy Sterling and Dvalishvili wouldn’t battle one another.
White has repeatedly stated the UFC’s company merger with WWE gained’t have an effect on the way in which it does enterprise. For Sterling, the 2 have already got much more in frequent than inventory.
“[The UFC is] not the WWE, and I get the enterprise mannequin of issues,” he continued. “So I’m not even speaking about that. I’m simply saying as a pure sport fanatic myself, I watch the fights week in and week out. I hate this mannequin.
“I’ve discovered to type of simply embrace it, and attempt to do my finest, and attempt to make a personality and persona, and attempt to be extra participating with the followers to type of give that really feel, as a result of that’s what the corporate desires, proper? We wish characters, those that we will type of promote, though you need say, ‘I don’t promote, I’m not an enormous [draw].’ OK. That’s relative to no matter you need say to the followers and the viewers.
“However the truth that we’re going to skip over everyone else and go to No. 6, when there’s a man who actually, let’s be sincere, he kicked Petr Yan’s ass approach worse than I did, approach worse than Sean O’Malley did. Why is he not subsequent? There’s a storyline. He nonetheless has the jacket.”
Dvalishvili paraded O’Malley’s “Thriller” jacket around the octagon when Sterling and O’Malley confronted off after Sterling’s UFC 288 win over Henry Cejudo. Dvalishvili and O’Malley have sparred on and off, with O’Malley recently trolling his bantamweight counterpart’s social media work.
Dvalishvili has been on the shelf with a hand damage since a March win over ex-champ Petr Yan, however Sterling stated his good friend is able to battle earlier than the top of the 12 months.
“Individuals hold saying [Dvalishvili and I are] clogging up the division,” Sterling stated. “We’re not clogging up the division. If I’m getting a rematch, that’s going occur, Merab is subsequent. If I’m not getting a rematch, downside solved, Merab is subsequent, after which perhaps I simply f*** off and go 145. If I’m not gonna get the rematch, perhaps I simply f*** off and go 45.”
Earlier than his title loss, Sterling had all however confirmed he was shifting to the featherweight division, the place his weight lower could be much less extreme.
“I do know individuals are gonna say you’re going forwards and backwards,” he stated. “What I’m saying is that if the rematch is given to me as a result of it’s a title shot alternative, the place I take advantage of cash as an athlete, I’m going to take it, like anyone else with a mind. This isn’t even about simply preventing one of the best on the planet anymore. It’s not even about that anymore. I’ve finished that already.
“Now, I wish to money out as a lot as I can, whereas I’m 34 years outdated, and attempt to get out with all my colleges as finest as I can intact, and whoop much more asses on my approach out. That’s the aim. And if I’m not gonna be the man to problem for the belt once more at 135, [Dvalishvili] has paid his dues, he’s fought everyone that the UFC has put in entrance of him. Merab Dvalishvili, how do you not give him a chance to make historical past be the primary Georgian champion ever?”