Bantamweight prospect Aljamain Sterling has been given free reign to test the free agent market. The UFC appears to have waived the exclusive negotiating period, with Sterling saying on Friday that his team got the call from the UFC to look around.
Sterling scored a slick standing guillotine submission over Johnny Eduardo last week at UFC Fight Night 80 in the final bout on his most recent contract with the UFC. He had turned down a contract offer prior to the fight as he didn’t agree with the terms, and will now get a chance to see what his value is to other organizations as an undefeated top ten bantamweight. The UFC holds matching rights for a period of time, and if he gets a significant offer he could still remain in the organization.
Penick’s Analysis: The UFC would be absolutely foolish to let him go. He’s a fantastic fighter and could be the future of this 135 lb. division, and deserves to be paid as the elite level professional athlete that he is. Hopefully he gets a significant offer from Bellator or elsewhere and the UFC matches or bests that. He deserves to get paid, and the UFC should keep him on the roster.
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[Photo (c) Bill Streicher via USA Today Sports]