Aljamain Sterling says Sean O’Malley hits hard, but not hard enough to pose a threat to him in their upcoming fight. With Henry Cejudo in his rearview after UFC 288 this past May, the ‘Funk Master’ is gearing up for his next defense against O’Malley, who he fights at UFC 292, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for Aug. 19 at TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
Given their strengths stylistically, most see Sterling successfully defending against O’Malley, but some are sensing an upset for the latter because of his power. Most of his fights have ended via (T)KO, with names such as Eddie Wineland, Thomas Almeida and Raulian Paiva falling victim to the ‘Suga’ show.
The Serra-Longo Fight Team star is not worried.
“I mean, when is the last time he knocked anybody out though? Are any of those guys even in the UFC anymore? Burn!,” said Sterling in a recent interview with The Schmo. “We are going to find out, that’s the beauty about this sport. I can say what I want to say, he can say what he wants to say, but eventually, we’re going to get locked in there on August 19.
“We’ll figure it out on August 19, we’ll see who is who,” continued Sterling. “I’ll be four-time Funk and after that, don’t call my phone [UFC president] Dana [White], don’t call my phone [UFC Chief Business Officer] Hunter [Campbell], I’m on vacation for a very long time.”
One more fight at bantamweight for Aljamain Sterling?
For a while now, Aljamain Sterling has discussed his desire to move from bantamweight to featherweight for the next phase of his professional career. The current champion cites his weight cut as the primary reason for the move, so he admits he has one or two more fights at his original weight class, including this one against Sean O’Malley.
But before he goes, he wants to leave an impression by finishing O’Malley, a feat that only one other fighter — Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera — has accomplished.
“Obviously, I’m taking things one fight at a time,” said Sterling. “Got to see how this one goes. Sean’s a tough dude, I’m not looking past him by any means. With that being said, I finish him in one.”
Sean O’Malley confident he can knock Aljamain Sterling out
Similar to his upcoming opponent, Sean O’Malley is also predicting a first-round finish. Sterling has one (T)KO loss on his résumé and ‘Suga’ hopes to add a second when they share the Octagon.
“I’m going to knock this fool out cold, but yes, if I could take his back and choke him, I would,” said O’Malley on an episode of the BrOMalley show. “Definitely. If I had that opportunity to take his back and choke him, I would. But I close my eyes, picture this bomb [left hand] or this bomb [right hand] or these bombs [legs] — I have so many weapons that I’m explosive [with] and have truly knocked people out with…
“…I know I’m capable of putting someone’s lights out,” continued O’Malley. “I just don’t think [Sterling] is. He knows what he’s capable of doing. He knows how good of a grapple he is. He knows he can go in there, take someone down, try to get their back, choke him, finish him and get him out of there. I know I’m very, very, very capable of knocking him out with a ton of different weapons.”
In his most recent fight, O’Malley defeated Petr Yan via split decision at UFC 280 this past October.
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