Sterling’s coach Ray Longo Criticizes UFC for favoring Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev

Aljamain Sterling, the UFC Bantamweight champion, appears to have the deck stacked in his favor ahead of his next defense. In a five-round technical fight, Sterling defeated Henry Cejudo in a split decision. He also had a bicep problem but still won. UFC announced immediately that Sean O’Malley, not Sterling, would be the challenger for Sterling’s bantamweight championship.

The bantamweight champ didn’t want a fight on August 19, but UFC President Dana White arranged for a title matchup between O’Malley and Sterling as the main event. Sterling has spoken out publicly against the UFC for forcing him to compete in just three months. Sterling, despite the challenge of defending his championship, is determined to beat “Suga”, as their rivalry intensifies. O’Malley will also try to exploit Sterling’s need to lose weight in order to meet the 135-pound limit. This may be difficult for Sterling, who fought back in May.

“…To my mind, people in business, and even here, like consistency. If I came in, everyone pays $200 hundred per month and they walk around the gym and someone says, no, he charges me only $75. You know what I’m saying? You need to be consistent. Longo said, “That’s why I’ve said that we’re giving some examples where it almost seems like favoritism,” he said.

He said “…I believe it’s because of the inconsistency. (Islam) Makhachev hadn’t fought for a year. Why are you forcing to me fight in two month’s time? I like transparency and fairness. I also like knowing that everyone is doing the same thing. If Dana wants to rotate everyone every two months then you agreed. These are their rules. This is their company. He built it. He’s the one who gets to make the decisions, but I find it a bit difficult to do something one time and then not again.

Sterling will defend his title a second-time, but other champions, such as UFC Lightweight Champ Islam Makhachev have had the time to prepare and rest for their next match. Sterling’s coach Ray Longo spoke out against this issue, as his fighter was forced to face O’Malley in UFC 292.

Longo’s claim that Makhachev took a year break is not true. On February 11, he retained the lightweight title by defeating Alexander Volkanovski in UFC 284 via unanimous decision. Makhachev had defeated Charles Oliveria at UFC 280 by submission on October 22, 2022.

Longo’s dissatisfaction with UFC is evident. Sterling was forced to defend his title just a few days after Cejudo defeated him. UFC 292 is a difficult task for Sterling but he’s proven that he’s capable of winning.


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