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Alex Volkanovski unsurprised by Aljamain Sterling defeating Henry Cejudo, unsure about future clash

Alexander Volkanovski expected nothing less out of the UFC 288 main event this past weekend (May 6, 2023).

The reigning UFC Featherweight kingpin had been firmly in the sights of the former two-division champion, Henry Cejudo, since “Triple C” announced his comeback late last year. Unfortunately for Cejudo, those hopes were all but dashed at UFC 288, suffering a split decision loss (watch highlights) to the current titleholder, Aljamain Sterling.

Sterling has also admitted he’ll likely make the move up in weight sooner rather than later, intending to challenge Volkanovski. First, he’ll have to get through his next title challenger, Sean O’Malley, while Volkanovski gets through interim 145-pound champion, Yair Rodriguez. “The Great” will be ready and waiting for “Funkmaster,” but wants the fans to want the match up, too.

“We weren’t surprised that Sterling got that decision,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel. “Definitely no robbery or anything like that.

“I’m glad he didn’t call me out after that fight,” he laughed. “Again though, any fight excites me if people want it. But you want people to have big wins. You want people to want the fight. It’s hard to say people want the fight straight after some fights.”

A move to Featherweight isn’t a certainty for Sterling as much as one would have been for Cejudo in victory. The decision hinges on Sterling’s best friend and teammate, the No. 1-ranked Bantamweight contender, Merab Dvalishvili, and his eventual possible title shot. The two have openly stated they’ll never fight each other. So, should each keep winning, Sterling has noted he’ll likely move up after one more win — possibly O’Malley — to give his best friend the opportunity he’s earned.


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For complete UFC 288 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.

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