According to Ali Abdelaziz, Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo is a done deal.
‘Funk Master’ is fresh off his victory over T.J. Dillashaw last month at UFC 280. During the contest, Sterling earned the second-round TKO win after his opponent dislocated his shoulder. As it turns out, the injury was pre-existing one, but nonetheless, the champion was happy with his performance.
During the UFC 280 post-fight press conference, Dana White gave him his next assignment. That assignment was a date with former champion, Henry Cejudo. ‘Triple C’ retired following a knockout win over Dominick Cruz in May 2020.
The announcement shocked fans and likely surprised Aljamain Sterling himself. Prior to the pay-per-view event, White stated the winner of Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan would face the champion. ‘Sugar’ prevailed by split decision, but the promoter seemingly decided to go a different path.
Since then, the bantamweight champion has stated he may not return until midway through 2023. Those comments have prompted speculation that there may be an interim title created at 135 pounds. For their part, O’Malley and Cejudo have seemed open to the idea.
It now seems that the interim title might not be necessary. During an interview with The Underground, Ali Abdelaziz, who manages Henry Cejudo, stated the bantamweight title fight is on for next year.
“Aljo is fighting Henry Cejudo, it’s done,” stated Abdelaziz during the interview. “It’s done, the UFC said it’s done. He knows it’s done, and I understand he wants a different fight. But, the man never lost his belt. He’s a two-time champion, defended both belts, and he left on his own. He didn’t leave because he lost, or he was injured, he just needed time off.”
He continued, “Guess what? It’s champion vs. champion, he never lost his belt. I disagree with Aljamain, I think it’s a big fight. It’s a tougher fight, he knows that, and I know that. I don’t think Aljamain will shy from an opponent, I think he tried to make Henry sweat. But, he’s fighting Henry.”
What do you make of these comments? Are you excited about the fight? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!