UFC President Dana White recently told the MMA media that Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley would be fighting for “Funk Master’s” bantamweight strap in the UFC 292 pay-per-view (PPV) main event this summer in Boston.
Not without first taking a few digs at “the mind” of Sterling (but not Ray Longo).
“Dana is super nice behind closed doors, but then he [says] I can’t get out my own way,” Sterling said on The Weekly Scraps (transcribed by Mike Heck). “Like, what does that even mean? Just clarify what that even means. If we make a deal, I’m a man of my word. I show up and compete every single time. I do what champions do. My thing with Dana is, damn, dog, why can’t you give credit where credit is due? Even if you feel I can’t get out my own way — which there’s no context behind that, because I’ve literally done everything you have asked. What does that mean, Dana? I’m pretty sure he couldn’t give you a straight answer of what that means.”
White went on an announcement blitz early last week to counter the big news from former champion Francis Ngannou (more on that here), but Sterling was quick to caution UFC fans that he still needed to obtain medical clearance before confirming the fight was official.
Regardless, “Funk Master” was hoping for a little more respect.
“Why is it so hard for Dana to go, ‘absolutely the fight is done, we spoke to him, this kid’s always shown up to the fights, always makes weight, always does the media stuff, we know he’s going to show up, yeah he just fought two weeks ago, he’s a little banged up but he gave us his word he’s going to show up for this fight, the kid’s a killer, the kid’s a stud,’” Sterling continued. “The same way he does for Conor (McGregor). If Conor does something, ‘Wow, isn’t he awesome?’ Can I be awesome too, Dana?”
White previously admitted McGregor gets special treatment.
The 33 year-old Sterling improved to 23-3 with a split decision victory over former champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 earlier this month in Newark, his ninth straight win and third straight title defense. A win over O’Malley could send “Funk Master” to 145 pounds, or perhaps retirement if he can’t settle his differences with White.