UFC President Dana White has accused Aljamain Sterling of self-sabotage after he hinted at potentially delaying his next fight.
Sterling is scheduled to face Sean O’Malley for his next bantamweight title defense at UFC 292 in August. The booking was announced just days after Sterling defeated Henry Cejudo in his last fight at UFC 288 via split decision.
Almost immediately after the news of UFC 292 broke, Sterling hinted at not being 100% committed to returning in August. In a recent interview with MMANews, which was published before the UFC 292 announcement, he hinted at wanting to wait until September to fight as he continues to nurse injuries.
Sterling’s comments put the UFC 292 announcement in question, and White has assured fans and pundits that the Sterling vs. O’Malley fight is still on course for August.
Dana White Reacts To Aljamain Sterling’s Comments About UFC 292
During the UFC Fight Night 224 post-fight press conference, White reacted to Sterling’s comments about a possible delay to the O’Malley fight.
“He’s fighting. Do you want me to explain the mind of fucking Aljo?” White exclaimed. “I got a call from [Henry Cejudo] this morning saying ‘It sounds like Aljo doesn’t want to fight’…Aljo is just one of those guys who can’t get out of his own way. Why did he say that? I don’t know…the fight is absolutely, positively, on.”
If the UFC 292 headliner remains intact, Sterling will undergo one of the fastest turnarounds for a UFC champion in the promotion’s history.
Sterling earned the title via disqualification at UFC 259 before defending it against Petr Yan at UFC 273. He defeated former champion TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280 last October before the win over Cejudo.
Since the aftermath of UFC 280, Sterling has hinted at his desire to take some time off to focus on recovery and his health. He’s also teased a move to featherweight after a series of rough weight cuts to 135lbs.
The UFC’s return to Boston appears intact, but Sterling’s apparent apprehension of making the quick turnaround could be an element to watch as the event draws near.
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