Aljamain Sterling feels “left behind by the UFC” due to Dominick Cruz’s title shot against Henry Cejudo.
The bantamweight champion, Cejudo, was scheduled to defend his title against Jose Aldo at UFC 250. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Aldo was forced to stop his training camp in Brazil and ultimately withdrew from their bout. The UFC rushed to find a replacement, and the division’s former champion, Dominick Cruz, stepped up to the plate.
The 135-pound fighters are expected to collide on the revised UFC 249 on May 9. However, Cruz hasn’t fought since his 2016 title loss against Cody Garbrandt. He has been battling multiple injuries and his immediate title shot has left many questioning if it is too soon.
Sterling, the No. 2 ranked bantamweight, is frustrated by “The Dominator’s” queue-jump and feels like he is being left behind.
VIDEO: @funkmasterMMA talks about feeling left behind by the UFC, as Dominick Cruz gets a title shot vs. Henry Cejudo on May 9th.
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) April 23, 2020
“I already feel like I got left behind,” Sterling said to Sirius XM “May 9, you’ve got Dominick Cruz who hasn’t fought in just about four years now at this point and getting a title shot against Henry Cejudo. So a couple of us fighters are getting left behind for sure.
“I understand that it’s a business aspect, they’ve got to make money. Fortunately, the UFC has given us a platform that we can provide for ourselves and our families. So it’s a double-edged sword man.”
Sterling is riding four back-to-back victories, most recently a unanimous decision win against Pedro Munhoz. He was briefly linked to a UFC San Diego fight with Cory Sandhagen, but the bout never came to fruition and the card was canceled. Whoever he ends up fighting next, he feels slighted.
“Sometimes I’m bittersweet about it,” Sterling said. “Sometimes, I’m just like, you know, you’re grateful. And other times you’re like ‘man I just want to p*ss on this guy’s shoes or something.’ I don’t know.
“Sometimes you just want to smack somebody,” Sterling added. “It’s like ‘yo, what gives you the right to cut the line after coming off a one-sided dominant loss, and then jumping in after someone’s been working their a*s off.”
Do you think Aljamain Sterling is being overlooked? Let us know in the comments below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/23/2020.