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Aljamain Sterling Hopes UFC 300 Win Could Fast-Track Title Fight

Aljamain Sterling UFC

Aljamain Sterling UFC
Aljamain Sterling hopes an impressive performance at UFC 300 could help him skip the line and get a featherweight title shot. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Aljamain Sterling Hopes UFC 300 Win Could Fast-Track Title Fight

At UFC 300, Aljamain Sterling will make his featherweight debut against Calvin Kattar. The former bantamweight champion hopes an impressive performance could place him in featherweight title talks.

Sterling discussed the featherweight title picture at UFC 300 media day.

“I think so,” Sterling said when Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie asked about the possibility of earning a title fight. “If Max (Holloway) goes out there and he wins, if I go out there and I win, and look good doing it. Ilia Topuria already said what he said. He said there are no challengers. So why not just skip the line instead of getting in the tough gauntlet of a queue? The UFC, they do what they want right? If they offer you a title fight, you would be kind of crazy to tell them no. If I go out there, do my job, I look good on a huge massive card, the rest will take care of itself.”

The UFC featherweight title picture is unclear at the moment. The possibility of a rematch between Ilia Topuria and Alexander Volkanovski is a possibility. A bout between Max Holloway and the current champion seems inevitable. Brian Ortega and Mosvar Evloev have momentum as potential contenders. A win at UFC 300 would immediately launch Sterling into those discussions.

It is hard to pinpoint exactly where Sterling sits in the featherweight division. The former bantamweight champion is making his divisional debut. It is hard to justify getting a title shot off a win over Calvin Kattar; however, his status as a former champion helps push him up the line.

Sterling could benefit from other fighters not being in a position to fight Topuria. It is easy to see a scenario where Holloway does not jump on the next featherweight title shot. In his case, a win could provide him with other opportunities while a loss could sideline him for health reasons. Similarly, Volkanovski may extend his layoff considering his recent knockout loss. It would still be an uphill battle, but Sterling could slide into a big opportunity.

At a minimum, Sterling is angling himself for a big fight. If he impresses at UFC 300, he may fall short of a title fight, but it is not out of the question that he gets one of the aforementioned fighters and competes in a title eliminator. That would be a pretty strong consolation prize and would help him get closer to gold.

A lot of important storylines are flying under the radar admit all the madness of UFC 300. The incoming shuffle of the featherweight division is among the most important pieces of the event.

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