Yesterday, it was reported by TSN that a bout between rising top-five ranked bantamweight contenders Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen was in the works to take place at a UFC Fight Night event that is currently slated for May 16 at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.
Given the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently impacting much of the world, the immediate future of combat sports is up in the air, with some events already being postponed or canceled and others in jeopardy of not taking place.
Aside from that, however, Sterling took to his official Twitter account earlier today to deny that any official fight announcement has taken place.
“We’ve spoken about a few different opponents,” Sterling wrote on Twitter. “As far as I know there is no fight announcement, especially with all this chaos happening.
“I don’t even have access to my gym anymore,” he added. “It’s been a complete ban for everyone and you guys think I’m taking a fight? Yea, ok.”
Given the current state of the world, Sterling’s way of thinking is logical. After all, it’s quite possible that the event currently scheduled to take place in San Deigo, which is set to be headlined by an explosive lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker, ends up being postponed or canceled altogether.
Regardless of what transpires with that event, however, a bout between Sterling and Sandhagen could certainly make sense when circumstances return to normal.
“The Funkmaster”, currently ranked No. 2 in the 135-pound division, has won four-straight fights after suffering a devastating knockout loss to Marlon Moraes in 2017. That winning streak includes victories over Brett Johns, Cody Stamann, Jimmie Rivera and Pedro Munhoz.
Sandhagen, meanwhile, is riding a seven-fight winning streak that includes a perfect 5-0 record in the UFC. He started his UFC run off with back-to-back finishes and has most recently scored victories over veterans John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao.
Both Sterling and Sandhagen have established themselves as contenders within the bantamweight division and a fight between the two could very well determine a potential title challenger.