Sean O’Malley is a star – Dana White reveals new champ made UFC 292 break records

Sean O'Malley is getting most of the credit for what turned out to be record-breaking numbers for the UFC.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 1 month ago

Sean O’Malley got the job done on Saturday night at UFC 292. The 28-year-old Arizona-based fighter scored a TKO win over “Funkmaster” Aljamain Sterling in the opening minute of round two to become the new undisputed bantamweight champion. 

And according to Dana White, it was “the Sugar Show” that helped catapult UFC 292 to a record-breaking success for both the company and the city of Boston. 

MMA: UFC 292 - Sterling vs Sean O'Malley Aug 19, 2023; Boston, MA, USA; Sean O'Malley (blue gloves) reacts to defeating Aljamin Sterling (red gloves) during UFC 292 at TD Garden.
IMAGO / USA Today / Bob DeChiara

White credits Sean O’Malley for UFC 292’s record-breakers

During the post-fight scrum, Dana White revealed UFC 292’s record-breaking numbers. 

“We broke the all-time gate record here. Bruce Springsteen just played here and did $5 million. We did over $7 million,” he told the media. 

“The Boston Garden. The craziest f—ng sports town on Earth. Other than their team that plays here, we’re the biggest thing that’s ever been here. So what does that tell you about O’Malley?” 

According to White, the headliner between Sean O’Malley and Aljamain Sterling also turned out to be the biggest fight at 135 pounds, worldwide. 

“This is also the biggest bantamweight championship fight ever on pay-per-view, globally. It broke the record. Biggest bantamweight championship fight ever. I’m sure you saw the crowd at the end. 

“O’Malley isn’t gonna be a star. He is a star.” 

MMA: UFC 292 - Sterling vs O™Malley Aug 19, 2023; Boston, MA, USA; UFC President Dana White presents Sean O™Malley (blue gloves) the UFC championship belt after defeating Aljamin Sterling (red gloves) during UFC 292 at TD Garden. Boston TD Garden MA USA, EDITORIAL USE ONLY PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xBobxDeChiarax 20230820_szo_om2_0212
IMAGO | Bob DeChiara / USA Today Network

Styles make fights

During the Octagon interview with Joe Rogan, Sean O’Malley admitted to feeling a bit of nerves coming into the Sterling bout, the biggest fight of his career at that point. 

“Honestly, this was the most nervous I’ve ever been for a fight. In my eyes, Aljamain Sterling is the best bantamweight of all time. So yeah, I was a little bit nervous for this fight, but I never lost the confidence because I know what I possess in this f—ng right hand.” 

White was likewise slightly doubtful about how O’Malley would do against Sterling. 

“When you think about the fight, and you think about Sterling, you say to yourself, ‘How does Sean beat this guy? How does Sean stop the takedowns?’ He’s not gonna be able to stop the takedowns. 

“Maybe he’ll do it a couple of times, but all night? Cejudo couldn’t. 

“But you never know, man. Styles make fights. And things happen in fights that you sometimes don’t expect. (Sterling) got caught, and he got stopped.” 

What Sean O’Malley wants next

Sean O’Malley may have just gotten at the top of the bantamweight ladder, but as far as he’s concerned, he’s just getting started. 

“This is just the beginning of the Sugar era. I’m running this shit until 2035,” he told Rogan. 

He does, in fact, already have an opponent in mind for his first title defense, one that he’s been thinking about for a while now

“Did Chito win? Was it boring? Probably. I’ll whoop Chito’s ass in December in Vegas at T-Mobile.” 

Sean O’Malley fought Marlon Vera at UFC 252, one of the organization’s pandemic bouts in 2020. The latter won via first-round TKO, but “Sugar Sean” will likely tell you otherwise

“Chito” opened up the night’s main card against fellow banger Pedro Munhoz. He won via unanimous decision to improve to a win-loss slate of 21-8-1. 

As for the newly-crowned champion, he improved to a record of 17-1 (with 1 NC) after the win over Sterling. He also took home a $50K bonus for Performance of the Night, his eighth post-fight bonus since entering the company via Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017.

Join the new Bloody Elbow

Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Karim Zidan. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.

Share this story

About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories