Aljamain Sterling had a complicated 2021 as he became UFC champion but was unable to defend his title. He won the belt after a controversial DQ against Petr Yan back in March.

Aljamain Sterling was supposed to return at UFC 267 but was forced off of the card after not getting medically cleared. Now it looks like Petr Yan finally has an idea for when he’ll fight for his belt.

The current UFC bantamweight champion feels like he should have been fighting against Corey Sandhagen for the belt. The title wouldn’t have been controversial in that case.

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“Technically, (Cory) Sandhagen and I both had higher credible wins, should have been fighting for the vacant title anyway, and they gave it to the popularity contest between (Peter) Yan and (Jose) Aldo,” Sterling said on his latest podcast. “So technically we should have been fighting for the belt and I should have technically been the champion, and even the fans, before they tuned their back, the fake ones, were saying that was the real title fight. Then all of the sudden I’m the fake champ … I don’t get it. I should have been the champion to begin with.”

Aljamain Sterling would like to defend his UFC bantamweight title in March. Petr Yan will have to wait just three more months.

“I’m hoping it’s gonna be on that March card, we’ll see what happens. I know Sean (Shelby) said February, March, April … April’s just so far. March would be ideal,” Sterling continued. “I’m already gearing up. I thought COVID was gonna slow me down more but I’m just excited to get back out there and compete. It’s gonna be a good one and the fans are gonna get their money’s worth and that’s all that matters to me. I wanna make money and I wanna shut these clowns up.”