It appears to be signing day for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which has locked down the services of another high-profile free agent.
Rising bantamweight Aljamain Sterling announced that he has signed a new deal to remain with the UFC during a Monday appearance on “The MMA Hour.” The news comes just hours after heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem made a similar annoucement to end his free agency.
Sterling, 26, owns a perfect professional record of 12-0, including four straight wins since joining the UFC in February 2014. The New Yorker was offered a new deal prior to the final fight on his contract, a Dec. 10 clash with Johnny Eduardo which saw Sterling submit the Brazilian veteran in round two.
Teasing his announcement with the possibilities that he had signed with Bellator MMA or World Series of Fighting, Sterling said he ultimately chose the UFC’s new offer because of unspecified incentives and the power of the company’s brand.
“The contract was a lot more lucrative than the original offer,” Sterling said. “In terms of the upfront money and the backend money, in terms of becoming a champion and things like that, there was a lot more to offer with [UFC].
“Ultimately, there’s a whole bunch of different things that go into it: the marketing, the publicity, of course. You can’t really put a value on the UFC name... You go out there and say ‘I fight for the UFC,’ they know exactly what that is.”