Aljamain Sterling, the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion knows who deserves to contest for his title up next, and recognizes Sean O’Malley as the number one contender.
O’Malley did earn it – I can’t deny that: Aljamain Sterling
‘Suga Sean’ is one of the fan favourites in the UFC, and has gracefully climbed the 135-pound division into the no. 1 ranked position. He defeated Petr Yan via split decision at UFC 280 in October, on the same card which saw Sterling defend his title against T.J. Dillashaw in the co-main event.
While there are options for ‘Funk Master’ to determine his next title challenger, which includes former double champ Henry Cejudo who is in the talks for a comeback to the Octagon, Sterling believes its O’Malley who has earned the title shot outright as he is not that excited about facing ‘Triple C’.
“O’Malley did earn it – I can’t deny that. Even Dana [White] said you beat the No. 1 contender so it made sense and then somehow, some way he backtracked,” Sterling told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, “I’m not sure if he thought my fight wasn’t going to go that way, and I’m not sure if he thought the Yan-O’Malley fight was going to go that way as far as being so competitive. He probably thought somebody was going to get stopped and then, ‘Holy s*** this guy definitely needs to fight for the title!’ That’s usually how it works. It’s usually the performance, but it was a great performance from both guys. Both guys fought their asses off. They got ‘Fight of the Night.’ So I don’t see why either one should have been denied that follow up claim that Dana made that whoever won would be next and he threw Cejudo in there.”
“I’m just not excited about that matchup [with Henry Cejudo]. Because he hasn’t competed. For me, if the fans cared — like really cared — the overall consensus was this is the matchup to make, Cejudo you are the guy, I’m calling you out, that’s the money fight because people want to see that fight. I just don’t feel like that’s it,” Sterling went on, “If O’Malley is the biggest name right now coming off the win, now the No. 1 guy, I don’t see why he shouldn’t get the fight. People are going to say ‘you want the easier fight.’ I don’t get how that fight’s easy? He’s long, he’s rangy, he’s got great footwork. He can crack. I don’t see how it’s an easy fight by any means.” [H/T MMA Fighting]
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