Ray Longo, coach of bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling, isn’t too happy with how his charge is being treated.
After a grueling split decision win over Henry Cejudo at UFC 288, Sterling will need to be ready for Sean O’Malley at UFC 292. Sterling previously voiced his displeasure with the rapid scheduling of the fight, drawing the ire of UFC President Dana White in the process.
Longo appeared on the Anik & Florian podcast to air his grievances with the UFC. During the interview, he also believes Sterling is not held in as high regard as lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
“I think it’s the inconsistency of, well, ‘Makhachev hasn’t fought in a year. Why are you rushing me to fight in two months?’ That’s where I have a problem. 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 another time, I think that’s where it gets a little sticky for me. ”
Sterling has been accused of “getting in his own way” by White in the past. His recent statements regarding the O’Malley fight have led many to speculate that he may turn down the announced bout in August.
Aljamain Sterling can’t catch a break
If anyone has a chip on their shoulder, it’s Sterling. The controversial nature of his wins over then-champ Petr Yan turned fans off to him, and he hasn’t won over fans with the close nature of the win versus Cejudo.
O’Malley is being pushed as a future star, so this could easily be seen as an attempt to give him an advantage. Sterling is favored to beat O’Malley, but he’ll need to do so convincingly to avoid any biased judging.