UFC accused of ‘Favoritism’ toward Islam Makhachev amid Aljamain Sterling rift: ‘It’s the inconsistency’

UFC accused of favoritism toward Islam Makhachev over Aljamain Sterling he fought a year agoRay Longo has claimed that the UFC are showing what he described as “favoritism” toward lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev – when compared with the quickfire turnaround they are currently targeting for bantamweight counterpart, Aljamain Sterling. Most recently headlining UFC 284 back in February of this year, Islam Makhachev successfully defended his lightweight title from the […]

UFC accused of favoritism toward Islam Makhachev over Aljamain Sterling he fought a year ago

Ray Longo has claimed that the UFC are showing what he described as “favoritism” toward lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev – when compared with the quickfire turnaround they are currently targeting for bantamweight counterpart, Aljamain Sterling.

Most recently headlining UFC 284 back in February of this year, Islam Makhachev successfully defended his lightweight title from the siege of featherweight titleholder, Alexander Volkanovski, landing a unanimous decision victory in their Perth, Australia outing.

Expected to make a return atop a UFC 294 pay-per-view card in Abu Dhabi, UAE in October, Islam Makhachev revealed in the weeks following his win over Volkanovski, how UFC brass had encouraged him to take some time off and prepare to compete toward the end of the year on the October card in the Middle East.

However, as for Sterling, the Uniondale native has once more engaged in a war of words of sorts with UFC leader, Dana White, pointing to the timely comeback they expect from him – with a UFC 292 title fight against Sean O’Malley announced officially, just weeks after he defeated Henry Cejudo this month at UFC 288. 

UFC accused of showing “favoritism” toward lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev

As far as Longo is concerned, the long-time head coach would like to see some consistency from the UFC when it comes to them booking certain champions on their schedule, claiming there appears to be some form of “favoritism” at play for Islam Makhachev. 

“To me, in business and even down here, you know what people like, consistency,” Ray Longo said on The Anik and Florian Podcast. “Like if I come in here, everybody pays $200 a month, and then they’re walking around the gym, and someone says no, he only charges me $75. That’s not good, you know what I mean? It’s got to be consistent. That’s why I said we’re giving examples where it seems like favoritism almost, you know.” 

“I think it’s the inconsistency of well [Islam] Makhachev hasn’t fought in a year (sic), why are you forcing me to fight in two months like that’s where I have a problem,” Longo explained. “I like fairness, and I like the transparency of knowing everybody’s doing the same thing. Like if Dana (White) wanted to turn everybody around every two months, then that’s it, that’s what you signed up for. This is their rules. It’s their company. He built it up. He gets to call the shots, but to do one thing one time and not the other time, I think that’s where it gets a little sticky for me.” (Transcribed by MMA News)

Aljamain Sterling slams Sean O’Malley ahead of UFC 292 fight: ‘He’s a knock off wannabe Conor McGregor’

Aljamain Sterling predicts easy win over Sean O'Malley he got hit one time and he went outAljamain Sterling has taken aim at bantamweight rival, Sean O’Malley ahead of their expected title showdown at UFC 292 in August – referring to the challenger as a “wannabe Conor McGregor. Sterling, the reigning bantamweight champion is slated to headline UFC 292 on August 19. from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts – defending his […]

Aljamain Sterling predicts easy win over Sean O'Malley he got hit one time and he went out

Aljamain Sterling has taken aim at bantamweight rival, Sean O’Malley ahead of their expected title showdown at UFC 292 in August – referring to the challenger as a “wannabe Conor McGregor.

Sterling, the reigning bantamweight champion is slated to headline UFC 292 on August 19. from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts – defending his crown against Montana native, O’Malley.

The most successful bantamweight champion in Octagon history, Sterling became the first titleholder in the history of the division to rack up three consecutive successful title defenses, defeating Henry Cejudo earlier this month at UFC 288.

Aljamain Sterling involved in dispute with Dana White

Sharing a war of words somewhat with UFC leader, Dana White ahead of his expected battle with O’Malley at UFC 292 in August, Sterling, who predicted a rather quickfire and one-sided submission win in their championship clash, poked fun at the farmer’s intial UFC trajectory.

“Anytime this man (Sean O’Malley) has stepped in there with a shark in the deep end, he’s been chewed up for the most part, every single time,” Aljamain Sterling said on his YouTube channel. “Maybe not say chewed up – actually, [against] ‘Chito’ (Marlon Vera) he got flattened. You ever see a domino? How you topple it over and it just falls? [That’s Sean O’Malley].”

“We just haven’t seen this magic knockout from ‘wannabe knock-off McGregor’,” Aljamain Sterling continues. “That was like the trajectory that he was on. But, for some reason, its just like people don’t got the juice or the formula to be Conor.” (Transcribed by Middleeasy)

Prior to his successful title knockback against former two-weight champion, Cejudo earlier this month at UFC 288 – Sterling landed a stoppage win over former champion, T.J. Dillashaw – as well as former titleholder, Petr Yan in the pair’s title unification rematch.

Last featuring in the co-main event of UFC 280, O’Malley, the current #2 ranked bantamweight landed a decision win over common-foe, Yan over the course of a debated three round decision success.

Henry Cejudo calls for interim title fight with Sean O’Malley at UFC 292: ‘I need my gold back’

Henry Cejudo calls for interim title fight with Sean O'Malley at UFC 292 I need my goldInitially calling for an August return against the currently injured, Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 292 later this summer, former duel-weight champion, Henry Cejudo has now switched his attention to an interim title fight with incoming title challenger, Sean O’Malley.  Cejudo, who snapped a three-year-plus Octagon hiatus earlier this month, headlined UFC 288 in Newark, New […]

Henry Cejudo calls for interim title fight with Sean O'Malley at UFC 292 I need my gold

Initially calling for an August return against the currently injured, Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 292 later this summer, former duel-weight champion, Henry Cejudo has now switched his attention to an interim title fight with incoming title challenger, Sean O’Malley

Cejudo, who snapped a three-year-plus Octagon hiatus earlier this month, headlined UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey against Aljamain Sterling – dropping a close, split decision loss to the defending bantamweight champion.

Suffering just the third professional loss of his gold laden professional career, Cejudo, a former undisputed flyweight and bantamweight champion to boot and an Olympic gold medalist, initially called for a fight with the #1 ranked bantamweight, Dvalishvili in the wake of his loss to the Georgian’s teammate, Sterling.

Henry Cejudo has offered to fight Sean O’Malley for interim gold at UFC 292

However, despite confirmation that Sterling will headline at the TD Garden in August in a title affair with Montana striker, O’Malley, Cejudo claims the champion is “playing games” – offering to fight the latter in an installed interim title fight instead.

“If Aljamain Sterling is playing this game that he is not ready [for UFC 292], he needs a little more time, let’s make an interim [title] fight between me and Sean O’Malley,” Henry Cejudo said on his Twitter. “It’s a bigger fight – it’s what the UFC wanted initially. It’s the same reason why they brought me out to chase and beat Aljamain Sterling.”

“And if they believe that Sean O’Malley and myself would be a bigger fight, then why not make it happen?” Henry Cejudo asked. “I wanted Merab (Dvalishvili), and I’m still willing to wait for Merab, but if that fight [Sterling versus O’Malley] with Sean O’Malley happens to open up, I’m 100 percent in, Dana White.”

In his most recent professional victory, Cejudo, then-bantamweight champion, successfully defended the crown with a second round TKO win over former two-time division kingpin, Dominck Cruz in the co-main event of UFC 249 in May 2020. 

Dana White issues interim UFC title threat to Aljamain Sterling: ‘If you’re not healthy, don’t take the fight’

Dana White threats interim title with Aljamain Sterling if' you're not healthy don't take the fightUFC president, Dana White has claimed that if current undisputed bantamweight best, Aljamain Sterling is not healthy enough to fight at UFC 292 on August 19. as planned – the Uniondale native should not have accepted to fight and defend his championship against Sean O’Malley. Sterling, the current undisputed bantamweight champion, is scheduled to headline […]

Dana White threats interim title with Aljamain Sterling if' you're not healthy don't take the fight

UFC president, Dana White has claimed that if current undisputed bantamweight best, Aljamain Sterling is not healthy enough to fight at UFC 292 on August 19. as planned – the Uniondale native should not have accepted to fight and defend his championship against Sean O’Malley.

Sterling, the current undisputed bantamweight champion, is scheduled to headline UFC 292 in August in Boston, Massachusetts – taking on the #2 ranked bantamweight contender, O’Malley at the TD Garden. 

Dana White warns Aljamain Sterling an interim title could be introduced at bantamweight

Revealing a slew of injuries he is still dealing with in the aftermath of his successful title defense against Henry Cejudo earlier this month, Aljamain Sterling asked for UFC leader, White to show him some respect for taking such a quickfire turnaround against O’Malley, a call the promotional boss labelled as “ridiculous”.

“I’m not the one what went out and said, ‘If my body holds up,’ when I’m promoting a fight, if you’re not healthy, don’t take the fight,” Dana White told FanSided during a recent interview.

“We’ll have somebody else fight, we’ll do somebody else for the interim title,” Dana White explained. “Don’t say you’re going to go out and fight and then start saying stuff like, ‘If my [body holds up].” What’s the first thing that happened? As soon as I was at the press conference, I was asked, ‘Is Aljamain Sterling really going to fight or not?’ Is that what you want the fans thinking? How is that me not giving him credit?”

The most successful bantamweight champion in Octagon antiquity in regards to consecutive successful title defenses, Sterling set himself apart from former titleholders, with his decision win over Cejudo earlier this month.

Prior to that victory, Sterling successfully defended his title in a ground strikes TKO win over former two-time champion, T.J. Dillashaw, after a successful rematch title unification win over former gold holder, Petr Yan

Aljamain Sterling branded ‘Most dangerous bantamweight there’s ever been’ ahead of UFC 292 return

Aljamain Sterling branded most dangerous bantamweight there's ever been ahead of UFC 292 fightExpected to share the Octagon with surging contender, Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 later this year, undisputed bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling has been described as the most dangerous 135lbs titleholder in Octagon history, by the Montana native’s head coach, Tim Welch. Sterling, the current undisputed bantamweight champion, most recently headlined UFC 288 earlier this month, […]

Aljamain Sterling branded most dangerous bantamweight there's ever been ahead of UFC 292 fight

Expected to share the Octagon with surging contender, Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 later this year, undisputed bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling has been described as the most dangerous 135lbs titleholder in Octagon history, by the Montana native’s head coach, Tim Welch.

Sterling, the current undisputed bantamweight champion, most recently headlined UFC 288 earlier this month, securing a close, split decision win over the returning former duel-weight champion, Henry Cejudo.

Off the back of the decision triumph, Sterling became the most successful bantamweight champion in the history of the UFC, becoming the first to secure three consecutive successful title defenses to boot. 

Aljamain Sterling pumps the brakes on a UFC 292 fight with Sean O’Malley

Expected to face Dana White’s Contender Series product, O’Malley at UFC 292 on August 19. in his next expected title defense – despite noting a slew of injuries he is currently dealing with, Sterling’s strengths have been lauded by Welch, who described him as the most dangerous bantamweight in UFC history. 

“Stylistically, I think this is the most dangerous bantamweight champion there’s ever been,” Tim Welch told ESPN during a recent interview. “I really think that. He’s (Aljamain Sterling) so athletic, long and strong. He’s not just a good wrestler, he’s a good wrestler with good Jiu-Jitsu, and he’s very funky. He switches stances, throws spazzy things at you, he’s good at chaining his wrestling together – most dangerous bantamweight ever, in my opinion.”

“If you make one simple mistake, he’s going to be on your back the whole time,” Welch said of Aljamain Sterling. “His cardio has gotten better. He’s not only good at grappling, but MMA grappling. The timing is going to be right when he’s ready to start punching you, or advancing to half guard, or mounting and forcing you to give up your back. He’s very good physically and technically.” 

Dana White maintains Aljamain Sterling, Sean O’Malley fight is set for UFC 292: ‘He can’t get out of his own way’

Dana White Aljamain Sterling gets in his own way UFC 292 fight with Sean O'MalleyDespite claims from undisputed bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling that he is yet to officially book a UFC 292 championship fight with the surging, Sean O’Malley for August, promotional president, Dana White claims the matchup is set – urging Sterling to get out of his own way. Sterling, who most recently headlined UFC 288 just earlier […]

Dana White Aljamain Sterling gets in his own way UFC 292 fight with Sean O'Malley

Despite claims from undisputed bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling that he is yet to officially book a UFC 292 championship fight with the surging, Sean O’Malley for August, promotional president, Dana White claims the matchup is set – urging Sterling to get out of his own way.

Sterling, who most recently headlined UFC 288 just earlier this month, managed to successfully defend his bantamweight title in a close, split decision win over the returning former two-weight championship holder, Henry Cejudo.

Becoming the first bantamweight in promotional history to land three consecutive successful title defenses, Sterling has been lined up to fight Montana native, O’Malley at UFC 292 on August 19. in Boston, Massachusetts.

An announcement from UFC president, White, confirmed how Sterling would be pitted against O’Malley at the TD Garden, with a strawweight championship fight between Zhang Weili and Amanda Lemos taking co-main event honors, to boot.

Aljamain Sterling pumps brakes on potential UFC 292 fight with Sean O’Malley

However, in the immediate aftermath of the announcement, Uniondale native, Sterling, who revealed he was still dealing with injuries, and may not make the August date.

“I’m still injured with my legs banged up, my bicep still sucks,” Aljamain Sterling said. “I’m trying to get to this fight in August [with Sean O’Malley]. We’ve talked a little bit about it and we’re trying to see if we can make it happen, but my leg is still super sensitive to the touch. I hope I’m not ruining anything by me saying that.”

“Guys, I did just fight,” Aljamain Sterling continued. “The swelling has gone down a lot. I can actually do a flex with my foot, but it’s still very stiff. I’ve done PT once in the sauna one time and I did an ice bath last night. Well, yesterday afternoon. So, I think that helped out a ton with the swelling, for sure. I don’t know. We’re gonna see. My shins are super sensitive. Even just me touching it right now. They feel like mushy almost. I can make a dent in my leg.”

However, according to White, Sterling and O’Malley is official for UFC 292, despite the former’s injury caution.

“He’s (Aljamain Sterling) fighting,” Dana White told assembled media following UFC Vegas 73. “Do you want me to explain the mind of f*cking Aljo? I got a call this morning from [Henry Cejudo] saying ‘it sounds like Aljo doesn’t want to fight’… Aljo is just one of those guys who can’t get out of his own way. Why did he say that? I don’t know – the fight is absolutely, positively, on.” (Transcribed by MMA News)