Aljamain Sterling seeks to skip the line and challenge Ilia Topuria with dominant victory at UFC 300

Aljamain Sterling already has the credentials to be considered the greatest UFC bantamweight of all time. After his first defeat in almost five and half years, Sterling has moved up in weight class and will be locked inside the octagon with Calvin Kattar at UFC 300.

With Ilia Topuria’s title triumph over Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298, the featherweight division is open for contenders as Volkanovski was a long-reigning champion in the division and now Aljo is looking to put himself into the title picture.

Aljamain Sterling discusses potential Ilia Topuria title bout

Aljamain Sterling was dethroned by Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 via second-round TKO. Before the fight, Sterling planned to vacate the title, if victorious against O’Malley so that Merab Dvalishvili, his close friend and training partner would get the chance to become the next champion in the division.

Now, as he prepares to make his mark in the featherweight division against Calvin Kattar in the upcoming UFC 300 PPV, Sterling has made his title aspirations known. “If Max [Holloway] goes out there and he wins, I think I go out there and I look good doing it…Ilia Topuria already said there’s no challengers, so why not just skip the line”, said Sterling at the media day for UFC 300.

Topuria, after he won the title at UFC 298, called out Conor McGregor as he felt there were no viable contenders in the division. His reason was Alexander Volkanovoski having victories over the top-ranked featherweights.

Volkanovski had already called for a rematch and Topuria had no qualms about giving it, but firmly believed the result would be the same. Max Holloway has already made known that he will challenge Islam Makhachev, if victorious against Justin Gaethje per MMAMania.

Does Aljamain Sterling deserve title shot with a win at UFC 300?

If we are going by merit, the fighter who deserves the next title shot is in the following order: Alexander Volkanovski, Movsar Evloev, and Max Holloway. However, Volkanovski is on a two-fight knockout losing streak, Evloev does not have a single finish, and Holloway is now at lightweight.

In this scenario, Aljamain Sterling has the perfect opportunity to get inserted into the title picture with an impressive showing against Calvin Kattar who is on a two-fight losing streak, albeit one loss being via injury and the other a split decision.

As a former long-reigning champion in the bantamweight division, Sterling has the merit to call for a title shot. If he was the champion at Bantamweight who moved up, he would’ve easily gotten the title shot.

Since he is coming after a loss, he should get an impressive finish to skip the line. Deiveson Figuerido, a former flyweight champion, moved up to bantamweight and defeated Rob Font at UFC Austin via unanimous decision.

However, now, Figuerido is scheduled to fight Cody Garbrandt at UFC 300. Therefore, it is safe to assume that Sterling will get a similar fate if he wins but has a lacklustre performance against Kattar.

Do you think a victory at UFC 300 will be enough for Aljamain Sterling to bag the next title shot at featherweight? Leave your thoughts about it below!


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