Although it looks like the UFC will be finally holding an event in Aljamain Sterling’s home state of New York, the bantamweight prospect doesn’t plan to sit on the sidelines until then.
Earlier this week, it was announced that the New York State Assembly has voted to sanction pro MMA, and as a result, the UFC will likely host an event in NYC this fall. But, since Sterling hasn’t fought since December when he submitted Johnny Eduardo, he told MMA Junkie Radio the following (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“For me to wait and take my name out of relevancy for so long would be silly on my part,” Sterling said. “I’d rather get it in now and come out of the fight hopefully not too banged up and get ready for the next one, which would be MSG or wherever it is they’re going to hold the first UFC event in New York.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear this, as Sterling’s right; waiting until later this year could hurt him in terms of momentum and buzz. Further, if he were to get injured, he could throughout 2016 without fighting. The bantamweight also relayed that he needs to “get paid”, so that’s reason enough to fight in the short term.
It will be interesting to see who the 10-0 fighter takes on next. Currently Sterling is sitting in the #4 spot at 135, so chances are he’s going to fight a top contender. The 26 year-old has gone 4-0 to date in the UFC.