Aljamain Sterling will undergo neck surgery this week to repair the problem that has plagued him for about 10 years.
The UFC lightweight champion told ESPN that he has been diagnosed with a hernia and that doctors will operate on the C6-C7 vertebrae on Thursday. Sterling hopes to return from the process to defend the belt in a rematch with Petr Yan later this year.
“I was told I would heal in three months and I could start doing cardio to get ready,” Sterling said. “They would not want to see me fight until they see that everything has merged properly in my neck. Five months would be ideal if I healed very quickly. I am excited. The faster I heal, the faster I can fight. We will find out. in the next three months and we will get something according to schedule. “
Sterling won the lightweight crown at UFC 259 on March 6, when Ian landed on an illegal knee in the fourth round, leaving “The Funk Master” unable to continue. Following the result, UFC President Dana White said the bid would try to schedule a rematch as soon as possible.
Sterling told ESPN he would be ideally prepared to face Ian again by October or November. Neck surgery had been postponed for years, but battle team member Serra-Longo revealed that the fight with Yan and the foul that ended was the “final straw on the camel’s back” about the procedure.
Regardless of the timing, Sterling does not believe it is necessary for the UFC to create a temporary lightweight title in his absence.
“I can not see a reason for an intermediate title fight when Jan won the belt in July ”He was scheduled to fight me in December, and then he had to push it until March,” Sterling said. He had enough time to heal from any fake injuries he had. If he had that luxury, I should have the luxury of dealing with an injury I have put up for years. Why would they rush a temporary title for the sake of it? “