UFC males’s bantamweight will take heart stage within the coming months, as eight of the highest 10 contenders have booked matches, together with the champion. Aljamain Sterling.
The 135-pound motion kicks off this weekend with a 5-round essential occasion between the previous champion Dominick Cruz (24-3) and Marlon “Chito” Vera (July 21) in San Diego. Every week later, the previous featherweight champion Jose Aldo (31-7) will face Merab Dvalishvili (14-4) at UFC 278 in Salt Lake Metropolis.
On September 17, Cory Sandhagen (14-4) and Music Yadong (19-6-1) will open a UFC Struggle Night time in Las Vegas. That bout in all probability gained’t produce a right away title challenger, but it surely does characteristic quantity 4 and 10 within the UFC bantamweight rankings. After which, the largest evening within the division comes on October 22, when Sterling (March 21) faces TJ Dillashaw (17-4) and Petr Yan (March 16) meet Sean O’Malley (15-1) on the identical evening at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
In brief, this division will probably be fully totally different by the top of the 12 months. It may have seems completely totally different as a result of all the highest names are dealing with one another. And because of the exercise, there are alternative ways the block head can play.
Right here’s what every candidate must do — and the assistance it wants — to get to the subsequent title at 135 kilos.
Marlon Vera almost completed off Rob Font thrice throughout their essential bout at UFC Struggle Night time.
What does Marlon Vera must get a title?
A cheeky knockout in opposition to Dominick Cruz. In all probability.
In different phrases, lightning within the bottle. “Chito” Vera had a breakthrough efficiency in his last match in opposition to Rob FontAnd he’s acquired lots of motivation for himself. His story is good, as a uncommon Ecuadorian boxer who competes on the highest stage, and he has lots of charisma. If issues proceed to go improper for Vera, he has fan-favorite standing and star potential in entrance of him. He’s flashy, humorous, and enjoyable inside and outside of the Octagon.
However evaluating his state of affairs to others, it’s exhausting to see him choosing up a title proper after his win this weekend. There are simply too many different, extra possible situations for the time being. Except he created a viral ending after which fully killed it on the microphone, a la Jorge Masvidalflying knee of vs. Ben Askren, which Vera is able to. If not, he’ll possible be two extra wins earlier than combating for a title.
What does Dominick Cruz must get the title?
A convincing win in opposition to Marlon Vera, a win in opposition to Aljamain Sterling, a loss to Jose Aldo and a loss to Sean O’Malley.
Did you get all of them? Cruz might take the title with a win, however he’s going to wish lots of assist. He’ll want Sterling to carry onto the title with wins over Dillashaw and Yan to beat O’Malley. As a result of if each of these issues occur, it could arrange a possible trilogy between Sterling and Yan – one thing the UFC may not wish to do. Anyway, not but.
So at that time, Cruz was within the combine. But when Aldo beats Dvalishvili, he’ll in all probability win the subsequent title. So Cruz must win, then he wants Sterling and Yan to do their roles, after which he wants Dvalishvili to eliminate Aldo. And if all of that occurs, it’s solely doable.
Check out a number of the finest moments which have outlined Petr Yan’s unbelievable UFC profession main as much as UFC 259.
What’s going to it take Petr Yan to get a title?
One win over Sean O’Malley and one win over TJ Dillashaw – a loss to Jose Aldo didn’t matter both.
That’s it. Yan is about up very properly. He’s combating arguably the largest identify within the league, on the identical card because the title battle between Sterling and Dillashaw. If Sterling wins, I don’t see the UFC returning to a Sterling-Yan third struggle so quickly. But when Dillashaw wins, I don’t know why Yan didn’t get the title. His largest menace will probably be Aldo as there will probably be lots of curiosity within the title struggle between Dillashaw and Aldo. Nevertheless, Yan would have been extra deserving, and he fought the identical evening because the struggle for that title. If each Dillashaw and Yan win, the game will speak about that struggle very quickly.
Sean O’Malley sat down with Brett Okamoto to debate his UFC 269 struggle and why he considers himself an underrated bantamweight champion.
What does Sean O’Malley must get a title?
A win over Petr Yan.
What else can be left subsequent to a title at that time? Sure, O’Malley has been given a quick observe, but when he does his half properly and beats Yan, all that’s left for him is a title. He stated he wouldn’t thoughts if the UFC handed Aldo a title forward of him, however even when that occurs, there’s probability O’Malley will wait and struggle the eventual winner. If O’Malley beats Yan, he’ll set up himself as a high contender, and his identify is already large enough. He doesn’t even must be lively to remain within the highlight. That is the #1 candidate for O’Malley in any manner you draw it.
Jose Aldo prolonged his profitable streak to 3 with a unanimous determination victory over Rob Font.
What’s going to Jose Aldo take to get a title?
A win over Merab Dvalishvili and a caption from the champion.
Get an additional win after which cross your fingers in case you are Aldo. If he defeats Dvalishvili, he’ll win 4 matches in a row. He can be well-deserved for a title battle. This sport, particularly this division, could be very keen on Aldo. Sterling desires to struggle Aldo as a result of he’s Aldo. Dillashaw likes to struggle Aldo as a result of he’s Aldo. As soon as once more, O’Malley has stated he wouldn’t thoughts if the UFC gave Aldo a title forward of him as a result of he’s Jose Aldo. I can undoubtedly see a world the place the winner of Sterling vs. Dillashaw explicitly referred to as for a title protection in opposition to Aldo. And if that occurs, I feel the UFC and its followers will probably be there.
Marlon Moraes and Merab Dvalishvili confirmed off their unbelievable stamina in Spherical 1 of their UFC 266 bout.
What does Merab Dvalishvili must get a title?
Not out there.
This isn’t a blow for Dvalishvili, who’s on a seven-fight profitable streak and will go on to win the UFC championship. Nevertheless it gained’t occur in his subsequent struggle. Even when he seemed good in opposition to Aldo, there was merely no state of affairs the place he must struggle for the subsequent belt, aside from some robust conditions the place everybody on the high stage elements are injured. The excellent news for Dvalishvili is that he’s not distant. Beat Aldo after which get one other stable win and he’ll be proper there. At that time, Sterling, his teaching companion, will both must vacate it or lose it, as a result of I don’t see them enjoying in opposition to one another. We’ll cross that bridge after we get there.
What’s going to it want? Henry Cejudo to get a title shot?
Caption from the champion.
Just like Aldo’s state of affairs, if the defending champion stated he actually wish to struggle Cejudo, the UFC would possibly think about it. Cejudo doesn’t must show something to anybody to justify an on the spot title shot. He was on high of the world when he retired two years in the past, a second-weight champion and probably the greatest boxers on the planet. If Dillashaw wins, one can simply see him calling out Cejudo’s identify, as he desires revenge for the fast knockout loss he suffered in opposition to Cejudo in 2019, proper earlier than he suspended. Sterling additionally confirmed an curiosity in Cejudo. This state of affairs is extra possible than we expect, however Cejudo will need assistance from whoever holds the belt.