Aljamain Sterling versus Henry Cejudo appears to be set to be officially confirmed by the UFC for May 2023. In a brief conversation with The Schmo, the current bantamweight champion made the announcement public.
Sterling's fight with "Triple C" has been pushed back as he continues to recover from a torn bicep. To hasten his recovery, he is flying to Colombia this weekend to have a stem cell transplant.
The fight, which was reportedly scheduled to take place in April, was purportedly again delayed by a month at the request of the bantamweight champion's medical staff. When 'Funk Master' takes against the former two-division champion in May, he expects that the stem cell therapy will restore him to full health.
"Henry, 'Triple Zero' is next, 110% he is next. It's not going to be April though. After talking with my medical team and the doctors, we're going to give myself a little bit more time and it's going to be May... So here we are. I think the stem cells with the bio accelerator is going to be very good. I'm very optimistic about that and think it's going to get me back to a 100%. So I can compete against a tough competitor like 'Triple Zero'."
There aren't that many alternatives open to Sterling following his title defense with Cejudo in May, according to him. While comrade Merab Dvalishvili is currently on the verge of contention for the title, Sterling confesses that No. 1 contender Sean O'Malley is a tempting opportunity. However, Sterling claims a move up to featherweight is possible. Aljamain Sterling believes that by having to lose less weight, he will be less exhausted at 145 pounds.
"I can see a second-round finish, [a] TKO [against Cejudo]. And after I finish Henry Cejudo, I really don't think the bantamweight division has anything left for me. Maybe a money fight with Sean O'Malley, if you know, he can get his toenails in order and make sure he stays pretty on the sidelines and healthy... or probably I'm just going to go up to 145 [pounds]... I've got dense bones man, I get heavy... 145, It would make things a bit easier... I won't have to deplete myself as much."
Sterling also admitted how challenging losing weight to 135 pounds is for him, even though he has never managed to miss the scale. He has received criticism frequently for drastically reducing his weight. It has been asserted by certain professionals and fight enthusiasts that "Funk Master" is not a genuine 135-pounder.