UFC: Aljamain Sterling Holding Out for Pay Increase, Won’t Sign Dillashaw Contract

Aljamain Sterling UFC
Aljamain Sterling Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Pump the brakes on that Aljamain Sterling-T.J. Dillashaw fight news, a match-up that had been reported for UFC 279.

While it appears the fight is the direction the promotion is going in, bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling says he won’t sign the bout agreement without one specific condition being met.

Calling Dillashaw “The King of Pills,” Sterling (21-3) took to Youtube to say that “There is no fight until there’s ink on paper, and as of right now, my contract is exactly the same.”

And that right there is the problem. Sterling is looking for a pay increase, after successfully defending his title in a rematch with Petr Yan at UFC 273 in April.

“Usually, when it’s not a title fight, when you win a fight there’s an escalator,” Sterling explained. “There has been no escalator in this fight. I like to think that I played my part, did the right things and even allowed myself to be the bad guy in the last outing with Petr Yan, and help play up the storyline.”

Sterling, who was indeed vilified by a large chunk of the UFC fanbase after winning the title via DQ in his first fight with Yan, continued by saying that “So one would think that being a company man would actually help you in the long run. So I did my job. As of right now, I’m training, hoping that we come to some type of agreement to give some type of pay bump– which naturally happens in all the contracts.” For those unfamiliar with UFC contracts, he added that “So say you come into the UFC, 10 and 10, naturally there’s a two grand or three grand escalator, whatever your contract is, usually they’re all standard in the very beginning.”

Win a fight, and you move up the escalator, going from $10,000 to show, $10,000 to win to the next step, 12/12, for example.

“For me, I want to make sure we get the deal right before we just jump into another fight,” Sterling stated. “Because at the end of the day, I climbed through the ranks, I worked my ass off, and I played my position in terms of helping to promote the fights, which a lot of these guys don’t even do. I’m here to be a company man, and at the same time, I want to look out for my best interests. There’s a fine line where there’s a balance where getting both of those done can happen, and hopefully we can sit down, figure this out, and I guess figure out where the location’s going to be.”

Later, “The Funkmaster” would add that “It’s not official until there’s ink, on paper, dry. So until then, there is no fight, I’m not defending against nobody. I’m on vacation until then.”