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Aljamain Sterling explains why he hasn’t signed contract for UFC 279: ‘There has been no escalator in this fight’

Aljamain Sterling wants more money to take on T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 279.

The UFC bantamweight champion pumped the brakes on a title fight with the former champ less than 24 hours after multiple media outlets reported it was targeted for the promotion’s Sept. 10 pay-per-view.

“There’s no fight until there’s ink on paper, and as of right now, my contract is exactly the same,” Sterling said on his official YouTube channel.

In a previous video, Sterling revealed his base pay was $400,000 for a UFC 273 rematch against Petr Yan, which he won by split decision. UFC champions also typically share in pay-per-view profits from numbered events, the total of which isn’t available for several months.

Sterling indicated he wanted an “escalator” similar to the contracts of non-champions, which for every win bump up a fighter’s pay by several thousand dollars.

In his case, Sterling believes it’s a fair exchange for the work he did promoting UFC 273, a fight where he was widely cast as the heel for winning the title via disqualification at UFC 259.

“There has been no escalator in this fight,” Sterling said. “I’d like to think I played my part, did the right things, and even allowed myself to be the bad guy in the last outing with Petr Yan, and help play up the storyline.

“So one would think that being a company man would actually help you in the long run. So I did my job – as of right now, I’m training, hoping that we come to some type of agreement to give some type of pay bump which naturally happens in all the contracts.”

Sterling said neither he or his management has received official confirmation about the Dillashaw fight or its location. He wants a some sort of sitdown with UFC officials to address his concerns.

“For me, I want to make sure we get the deal right before we just jump into another fight, because at the end of the day, I climbed through the ranks, I worked my ass off, and I played my position in terms of helping to promote the fights, which a lot of these guys don’t even do,” he said. “I’m here to be a company man, and at the same time, I want to look out for my best interests. There’s a fine line where there’s a balance where getting both of those done can happen.”

So no matter what has been reported thus far, Sterling said until he meets with the UFC, “there is no fight. I’m not defending against nobody. I’m on vacation until then, but I’m training getting myself back.”

In revealing his pay, Sterling issued a passionate rebuttal to one-time title challenger Michael Chandler on the issue of fighter pay, arguing that fighters deserve a larger slice of the revenue for the work they put in to get to a title.

Check out the full video above.