Aljamain Sterling became the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion last weekend after defeating Henry Cejudo at UFC 259. After the fight, many fans began to speculate that Sterling might move up to featherweight in his next bout. In a recent interview with ESPN, Sterling was asked if he would consider taking on any of the top ranked fighters at featherweight if he does make the jump. The champ responded by saying:
“Of course, you’ve got another Georgian hammer in Ilia Topuria. I know him and Merab are really good friends. That’s one I’d like to avoid, for the sake of that friendship that they have. And we’ve hung out a couple times, (Topuria is a) really cool guy.”Aljamain Sterling via UFC
Max Holloway is currently ranked number two in the official UFC rankings for featherweights and has been widely considered as one of the toughest opponents in all weight classes in MMA today. With 25 professional bouts under his belt, Holloway is a fighter who is well-known for being incredibly well-rounded and having great cardio which allows him to go hard for five full rounds without slowing down significantly. His impressive record includes victories over some of the best names in MMA such as Jose Aldo (twice), Frankie Edgar, Anthony Pettis (twice) and Brian Ortega.
Holloway’s style also makes him particularly dangerous when faced against wrestlers like Aljamain Sterling as well due to his strong takedown defense which allows him time on his feet where he can then use his superior striking abilities to gain control over his opponent or land powerful shots throughout all five rounds of action without worrying about getting taken down or submitted by other techniques used by grapplers like sterling himself are known for.
Sterling’s decision not take on Max Holloway seems understandable given how experienced and adaptable the Hawaiian fighter is inside of the octagon however despite this there still remains hope that these two will eventually meet inside an octagon . If a match between them ever does materialize then fans should expect nothing short from absolute fireworks due these two world class athletes both looking out prove themselves against each other . This would be especially true considering how both men share similar philosophies regarding fighting : fight smart , finish quickly ,and never give up . If these two were indeed pitted together then fans could certainly look forward seeing what kind masterpiece they create inside an octagon while attempting achieve victory over their respective adversary .
I don’t think it’s wise for Sterling to take on Max Holloway. Sterling is a great wrestler, but Holloway’s style of fighting and takedown defense would be incredibly tough to handle.
Sterling should go after other fighters in the featherweight division first before taking on Holloway. There are plenty of less experienced opponents he could face that wouldn’t pose as much risk as someone like Max.
It’s understandable why Aljamain doesn’t want to fight against Max right now. But if the UFC did match them up together then fans would certainly get an amazing show between two world class fighters and their respective philosophies.
Max Holloway has been one of the toughest opponents in all weight classes, so I totally see why Sterling wants to avoid him for now. He poses too much risk for anyone at this point.
Aljamain made a smart decision not taking on Holloway yet since his experience and adaptability inside octagon can be lethal when faced against wrestlers like him . However , there is hope that these two will battle each out someday
I understand where Sterling is coming from with wanting to avoid facing off against Max right now however I’m still hoping that they do eventually meet in the octagon because if they do then it will most likely turn into an epic clash between two highly skilled competitors