Spinning Back Clique: Aljamain Sterling as 135 GOAT, Belal Muhammad’s options, DJ’s legacy, more
Check out this week’s “Spinning Back Clique,” MMA Junkie’s weekly live show that takes a spin through the biggest topics in mixed martial arts. This week’s panel of Farah Hannoun, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Mike Bohn will join host “Gorgeous” George Garcia live at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) to discuss and debate:
Aljamain Sterling had what may have been the biggest test of his career in the UFC 288 main event, but he passed the test. Sterling took a split decision from former two-division champ Henry Cejudo to retain the bantamweight title – and may have made an argument for himself as the greatest 135-pounder in history. Is he? And did the judges get it right Saturday?
In the UFC 288 co-main event, Belal Muhammad made himself the new No. 1 contender for the welterweight title with a five-round unanimous decision win over Gilbert Burns, who as fighting for the third time already in 2023. UFC president Dana White said before the fight the winner would be next for sure, so now Muhammad just has to wait to see if champ Leon Edwards retains his title against Colby Covington. Should Muhammad sit back and wait? Should he be ready to be a backup? What’s his best play?
Former longtime UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson continued to add to his legacy when he retained his ONE Championship flyweight title and closed out his trilogy with Adriano Moraes. Johnson fought Moraes three straight times. He hasn’t committed to retirement, and he’s only 36. But what else does he have left to accomplish?
We left the weekend talking about Aljamain Sterling, Belal Muhammad, Yan Xiaonan and Demetrious Johnson, but other winners made big impacts, too. Who flew under the radar because of the bigger names above them?
After Sterling beat Cejudo to defend the bantamweight title, there was an immediate callout of Sean O'Malley, who was cageside. They had an in-cage faceoff and confrontation that was a little bit cringeworthy and also turned into a near incident when Merab Dvalishvili had some fun with O’Malley’s leather jacket. Are those kinds of promotional stunts good in your book, or is the UFC, and MMA in general, better off without them?
“Spinning Back Clique” is released each Monday LIVE on MMA Junkie’s YouTube channel. You can watch this week’s episode in the video above.