Former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling is moving up to featherweight for his next fight against Calvin Kattar at UFC 300 in Las Vegas on April 13th, and he believes there’s a clear path to a title shot if he emerges victorious.
“I want to see how far I can push this thing now,” the 34-year-old Sterling said on ‘The MMA Hour’ show. “I hit all my goals. Now is how high I can go. How many more mountains can I climb and see what I can do before it’s all said and done.
“I’m excited because Calvin is a badass, and I’m also excited because I’d like to see what I can do at this weight class. I think if I beat him and I beat him in good fashion I think – and by no means am I saying I’m running through him. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I can’t predict the future. All I can do is be as confident as I know I can be and know I put the God d*mn work in, and I’m going to be doing that.”
And if all goes according to plan and he leaves the Octagon with his hand raised at UFC 300, Sterling envisages a potential title showdown against Alexander Volkanovski next.
“If I beat him the way that I think I’m capable of doing I think I’m right next in line for a title shot.
“I don’t think that’s too far-fetched of a thing. If you look at the guys at the top, they’ve already fought for the belt. If Volkanovski wins again I think that the door is wide open.”
Sterling also believes that without having to worry about cutting so much weight he can perform even better at 145lbs than he has at 135lbs.
“Ten extra pounds, that’s a game changer. I feel like I lose a lot when I get down to from 45 to 35. I feel like the best parts of me are left in the gym because I deplete myself so much.”