UFC Champ Aljamain Sterling's Neck Surgery Timeline: "It's Not Going To Be Nine Months"

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling denied the rumors of a lengthy recovery he'll undergo from the upcoming neck surgery he's getting.

Sterling spoke via his podcast The Weekly Scraps Podcast about the lingering neck injury he suffered and what upcoming procedure he is getting to solve the issue, while also addressing the rumors that the recovery timeline of the injury will require his impending rematch with Petr Yan to be delayed up to potentially nine months. The pair's first meeting at UFC 259 was marred in controversy after Sterling became the first UFC champion ever crowned by a disqualification victory.

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“I was trying to avoid going under the knife but we’re back on schedule,” Sterling said (h/t MMAFighting). “We’re going to get an artificial disc replacement done. There’s two procedures — the fusion or the artificial disc replacement. We decided to go with the artificial disc replacement just to keep more of the flexibility of the neck and not put more stress with the fusion on the disc that are a level above or below. Because when you take away the motion and it fuses, you put more stress on the discs above or below or sometimes both. A lot of time and a lot of effort researching it has been going into it. Yeah, it was a week but I tried to exhaust all options. The last thing I could have done was taking more time, which is what I don’t want to do. I want to get this thing done and taken care of so that I can get back out to compete as soon as possible. It’s not going to be nine months. I don’t know why people keep saying that, who keeps spreading these lies, it’s like the UFC has a mole that just tells stuff that they don’t know is actually true. I’m not doing the fusion. I’m not going to be out for nine months. I’m probably going to be fighting around August, September, October. We’ll see how well my body takes and how good of a shape I can get in. Obviously the more time the better but I can ease my way into it. I really want to smack this Muppet. I really do. But I’ve got to be smart about it.”

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