This past weekend Aljamain Sterling’s run as UFC bantamweight champion was ended by Sean O’Malley. Sterling, who was being talked up as a potential bantamweight GOAT, was finished by his challenger in the second round with a stoppage that may have been a smidge late. Sterling recently took to his YouTube channel to talk about the loss and what comes next.
Aljamain Sterling discusses loss to Sean O’Malley at UFC 292
Though obviously disappointed, Aljamain Sterling sounded upbeat as he detailed what went wrong in the UFC 292 main event.
“For me, this isn’t that dark of an emotional time,” revealed Sterling. “Yeah, I lost but I fought great in the first round. I had a great start to the second round until I didn’t and it’s just one of those things. Can I get back? Will I bounce back? I been here before. I’ve done it before and I know I can do it again.”
Before his loss to Sean O’Malley, Sterling’s only other stoppage loss was a KO against Marlon Moraes, where he went for a takedown only to catch his head on Moraes’ knee. Sterling responded to that loss with an eight fight winning streak.
In his video Sterling added that he felt he was on his way to winning the fight, had he replicated what had worked for him in the first round. However, he admitted that, in the second round, he “got a little excited” and overextended himself.
“Credit to Sean. He stayed patient waiting for that clean shot to come. I made the one mistake he wanted me to make at some point during the fight and I never got an opportunity to showcase my grappling skills to the world and show the world why I’m the best.”
Sterling’s plan to get back at Sean O’Malley
In his video Aljamain Sterling discussed two routes to getting the UFC bantamweight title off of Sean O’Malley’s waist. The first of those attacks likely won’t involve him getting in the cage with him.
“Maybe Merab [Dvalishvili] gets his crack [next],” claimed Sterling. “I’ll be there to help him prepare for that fight, but we’ll see what’s next.”
As far as him fighting O’Malley again, Sterling said he hopes that happens next year. “I’m happy to sit on the sidelines, take my vacation, take time to get better,” he said. “We’ll see what’s next for me in 2024.”
Sterling’s training partner Dvalishvili is on a nine fight winning streak with recent victories over Petr Yan and Jose Aldo. He’s currently ranked second in the division, behind Sterling. Below him is Henry Cejudo, Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Vera, each of whom have compelling arguments for why they should be next in line.
One thing Dvalishvili has that the others don’t though? O’Malley’s jacket. Maybe that story-line is enough to punch his ticket to a title shot and a chance to avenge his pal.
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