UFC 285, which will take place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 4, 2023, now has a big headline fight: the return of Jon Jones, contender for the title heavyweight vacancy against former interim champion, Ciryl Gane.
Now we are waiting to see if a second title fight will be added to the pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast by ESPN+.
The main contender right now is bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling against former two-time champion and Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo. But, a partially torn bicep injury has Sterling on the fence about whether he can make the appointment.
Considering Sterling is getting a slice of the PPV, he has a couple million reasons to say “Yes!” to a fight at UFC 285 now that Jones is also on the card. But, he clearly fears that the biceps issue will prevent him from fighting Cejudo to the best of his abilities.
Sterling laid out his thought process regarding the possible fight on the latest episode of MMA hour.
“I said to the matchmakers, I’m like, ‘Hey, I feel better already. Let’s stick with it and see what happens. In the meantime I can run even though I hate to run I ran twice last week which is a big step up from zero kicking the bag just staying away from my arm, don’t struggle, don’t do things that will agitate him.
“Of course if I’m going to fight a guy like Henry Cejudo I wish I could pick up the pace of the fight because a guy like that you have to be able to wrestle and you have to be able to push a hard pace for 25 minutes added Sterling.
Honestly, from everything Sterling has said over the past few weeks, it doesn’t look like he feels ready to leave in six weeks. During the interview, he suggested he would be okay with the UFC staging an interim title fight between Cejudo and Sean O’Malley.
“If Henry wants to wait for me, he can wait,” Sterling said. “Or, if he wants to take the easiest fight, what he thinks is the easiest fight against Sean, if he wants to go beat Sean, go beat Sean.
“I say if Henry wants to wait for me, we can fight,” he added. “But, if ‘I don’t want to wait any longer, give me a fight right now,’ maybe they’re doing an interim. I’m not mad at an interim, at the end of the day, an interim means that both guys get paid because they will now have a belt and are eligible for pay-per-view points I’m in favor of anyone using pay-per-view on the main card to get pay-per-view points at the map.
If physiotherapy doesn’t fix the problem with his biceps, Sterling said he would have to have surgery, which could sideline him for up to seven months. Considering the injury is one Sterling has struggled with since Petr Yan’s second fight, it may no longer be something regular rehab will fix.
So… what do you think, Maniacs? Cejudo vs. O’Malley for interim bantamweight belt? Or would you rather see a Marlon Vera vs. Sean O’Malley rematch for the bracelet? Let us know in the comments.
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