After testing his worth on the open market, bantamweight prospect Aljamain Sterling has announced that he’s signed a new contract to stay with the UFC.
After the final fight on his previous deal back in December, which saw him earn $24,000 ($12,000 to show, $12,000 to win) for a victory over Johnny Eduardo, Sterling took note of the fact that relative newcomer Sage Northcutt had earned $80,000 ($40,000 / $40,000) on the same card and made it clear he’d now be testing his worth as a free agent to ensure he’d get the best deal possible.
As an undefeated 12-0 bantamweight with four victories in the UFC to date, the No.5 ranked Sterling’s arrival on the market attracted interest from a number of promotions, with the likes of Bellator, World Series Of Fighting and ONE FC all believed to have made offers for him.
However, after weighing up his options Sterling opted to remain with the UFC who he says offered “more upside” on the back-end of the contract.
“I’m happy with the deal,” Sterling told newsday.com. “I’m in a nice spot.”
The 26 year-old did however say that money wasn’t the only factor involved in his decision, acknowledging that the UFC brand also influenced his thought-process.
“You can’t put a price tag on the UFC name,” Sterling said. “It was a whole bunch of little factors going into it, and that was one of the huge ones right there.”
It appears that Sterling made the most of his free agency, with the attention he drew to himself over the past couple of months not only helping him to negotiate a better deal for himself, but also in the process gaining a lot of free publicity which has helped put him on the map.
Sterling’s announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that Alistair Overeem has also re-upped with the UFC after a similar free agency situation, putting to bed (for the time being) the rumors that perhaps there was going to be a flood of fighters following in the footsteps of Ben Henderson in order to sign with rival promotion Bellator.