Fight Announcement

Bantamweight contenders weigh in on UFC 250 Title Announcement

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Top UFC bantamweight prospects, ‘Funkmaster’ Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan passed comment on the announcement that Henry Cejudo will defend his belt against Jose Aldo at UFC 250. Understandably frustrated at not being granted a title shot, Sterling and Yan’s omission from the title fight sets up a highly anticipated #1 contender fight.

UFC 250 Announcement

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto announced via Instagram that the fight between ‘Triple C’, Henry Cejudo and Aldo will take place in São Paulo, Brazil on May 9th.

A fight that was hinted about after Aldo’s bantamweight debut, the announcement still shocked a lot of fans. Having not fought since capturing the vacant bantamweight title in June of last year, Cejudo returns to make the first defence of his belt. Riding a five-fight winning streak, including three title fights, Cejudo has a lot of momentum coming into this fight. That cannot be said for Aldo, however.

Aldo’s run at featherweight is stuff of legend. A 10-year unbeaten streak, defeating some of the biggest names in the sport, Aldo is considered one of the featherweight GOATs. Since his 13 second knockout at the hands of Conor McGregor, Aldo has looked a shadow of himself. Going 3-4 in his last seven, his form has certainly dropped off.

Aldo raised eyebrows when he announced he would be dropping to bantamweight. Further doubters made their way to the forefront after Aldo looked drawn out at the media day of UFC 245. He did make weight on this occasion but visibly didn’t look good doing so.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 12: Jose Aldo of Brazil poses for the media during the UFC 245 Ultimate Media Day at the Red Rock Casino Resort on December 12, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

More Worthy Contenders?

Questions must be asked about the ‘fairness’ of Aldo receiving a title shot. Coming off back to back losses, Aldo is unproven at 135lbs. Although he looked good and arguably won at UFC 245, the fact remains he hasn’t won a fight since February 2019. We have to remember that this is the fight ‘business’, however, and Aldo is a huge draw in Brazil.

Two bantamweight contenders who are arguably more deserving of a shot at Cejudo are Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan

Sterling is 6-1 in his last seven, with his only loss coming via a freak knee by Marlon Moraes. On this run, he has defeated top contenders Jimmie Rivera and Pedro Munhoz. With insane cardio, slick stand up and a dangerous ground game, Sterling is a problem for anyone at 135lbs. 

Aljo weighed in on the announcement of Cejudo/Aldo. In his tweet, he made a stab at the rankings system, with some merit. Sterling is #2, riding a winning streak, with wins at bantamweight. Aldo is #6, on a two-fight losing streak, without a win at bantamweight.

The other person who deserves a title shot not named Aldo, is Petr Yan. Yan is undefeated in the UFC, notching six wins on the bounce. With three stoppages and three decision victories, Yan deserves a shot at the belt. Ranked #3, Yan has victories over Urijah Faber, Rivera and John Dodson, amongst other top contenders.

UFC 250

With one of Brazil’s biggest stars, Aldo in a title fight, we can expect this to headline the event. The perfect co-main event? Sterling vs Yan.

Should anything happen to any of the fighters in the title fight, either Sterling or Yan could step in. It will provide some needle on fight week also as Yan, Sterling and Cejudo constantly go at each other online.

The bantamweight division has a healthy future ahead of it with these fights on the horizon.

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Frazer is a 24 year old MMA and boxing enthusiast from Coventry, England. You can follow Frazer on twitter @Frazer_Krohn

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