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Sterling says he's fighting Cejudo in May

Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

It appears Aljamain Sterling's next opponent has been settled.

The UFC bantamweight champion told The Schmo that a fight with Henry Cejudo - not Sean O'Malley - is being targeted for May.

"Triple Zero is next. 110%, he's next," Sterling said. "It's not going to be April, though. After talking with my medical team and the doctors, we're going to give myself a little bit more time. It's going to be May."

Previously, Sterling said his next title defense would come against either Cejudo or O'Malley.

There were talks of "Funk Master" stepping into the Octagon in March or April, but his return was pushed back slightly due to a biceps injury. He's set to travel to Colombia this weekend to undergo stem cell treatment.

It has long been expected that Sterling's days at 135 pounds are numbered. The 33-year-old said he may move up to the featherweight division after the Cejudo fight. At most, he said, he would stick around for a fight with O'Malley and then go up to 145 pounds.

Sterling would set the record for most consecutive UFC bantamweight title defenses (three) with one more win.

"After I finish Henry Cejudo, I really don't think the bantamweight division has anything left for me," Sterling said. "Maybe a money fight with Sean O'Malley if he can get his toenails in order and make sure he stays pretty on the sideline and healthy. ... Maybe that fight might entice me, or I'm probably just going to go up to 145 (pounds) and let (teammate) Merab (Dvalishvili) continue to reign terror on the rest of these guys in the bantamweight division."

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