Originally, Aljamain Sterling expected to fight Renan Barao at bantamweight at UFC 214 this July 29. Unfortunately, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) ultimately decided to forbid Barao from fighting at bantamweight given his previous difficulty cutting to the weight class. As such, Sterling was asked to meet Barao at a 140-pound catchweight.
While Sterling is willing to meet Barao at 140, he recently divulged to MMAFighting.com that he has not yet signed the contract to do so, as he’s hoping for a bit more money.
Sterling’s desire for a pay boost has generated some backlash from Barao, but Sterling thinks what he’s asking for his more than fair.
“Those guys don’t know what the f*ck they’re talking about,” he explained. “I don’t think they understand what sport we’re doing, what the goal is. I don’t know what their goal is. Just to fight? They just want to fight just to fight? I don’t know. Go do some backyard brawls or some shit. I’m in this to change my life, to change my fortunes. I’m not in there to just fight for free. I fight for people’s entertainment, but at the same time that entertainment comes at a cost. I got to the pinnacle of the sport for a reason and that’s to make money. I didn’t come here just to give handouts.”
“You got [UFC president] Dana [White] bringing snow to Las Vegas and having Kendrick Lamar perform at his house, while I’m trying to ask for $10,000, 20,000,” Sterling said. “And that’s such a big deal? To fight a guy who’s a former world champion, I think that’s more than fair.
“I want to fight him at the weight class that makes sense. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking for money, to get paid and compensated for fighting up four pounds, which means he gets a little bit bigger. I get to get a little bit bigger, too, but I feel like cutting down to 136 is an advantage for me, because I can recover a lot better than he does.”
What do you make of these issues surrounding UFC 214’s Renan Barao vs. Aljamain Sterling fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/2/2017.