With Aljamain Sterling’s successful defense of the UFC bantamweight championship on Saturday night, the stage has been set for a clash between the ‘Funk Master’ and colorful fan-favorite ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley.

Sterling once again walked away with a win by the skin of his teeth, securing a debatable split decision victory over returning Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo at UFC 288. Following the announcement, Sterling was joined by Joe Rogan who then welcomed Sean O’Malley into the cage. Stepping into the Octagon for a face off, the two men took a series of profanity-laced digs at one another that had the entire Prudential Center enthralled.

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Things nearly got out of hand as Merab Dvalishvili, who was in Aljamain Sterling’s corner for his title defense, put on O’Malley’s jacket. The men were quickly separated and O’Malley exited the cage with his Michael Jackson cosplay piece intact as Sterling turned his attention toward the hostile New Jersey crowd.

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Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley Agree on a Scrap in September

September appears to be the favored date for their inevitable bantamweight title fight. That would likely be UFC 293, an event that has no official fights scheduled or announced at this time.

Sean O’Malley earned his spot as the No. 2 ranked contender in the division with a highly-contestable split decision win over former 135-pound champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 last October. O’Malley will go into the bout on a four-fight win streak and a winner in six of his last seven. Meanwhile, Aljamain Sterling has scored nine-straight wins dating back to 2018, making him one of, if not the greatest bantamweight in UFC history.

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Are you excited to see Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley?

Craig Pekios is a freelance writer born and raised in Bettendorf, IA. Joining LowKick MMA in May 2022, Craig has more than 2,500 articles published that focus on the world of mixed martial arts and boxing, including news, event previews, results, analysis, and op-eds. Aside from working with LowKick MMA, Craig has contributed to news outlets Overtime Heroics, Sportskeeda, and MiddleEasy.