Aljamain Sterling believes Sean O’Malley unwittingly sabotaged UFC 300.
On April 13, the UFC will deliver its next big landmark event featuring a slew of exciting matchups, including the featherweight debut of former 135-pound champ Aljamain Sterling. However, many fight fans have been left underwhelmed by the variety of high-stakes matchups announced. The ‘Funk Master’ believes much of the blame for that can be placed on O’Malley, who is set to headline a loaded UFC 299 card a month before UFC 300.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Aljamain Sterling suggested that the promotion is loading up UFC 299 with some big-money matchups to make Sean O’Malley look like more of a draw than he truly is.
“It’s just kind of funny that the UFC felt the need to stack this card so much to make it feel like Sean is the draw,” Sterling said. “It’s actually comical, because I know people were kind of trying to sh*t on the [UFC] 300 [card].
“I’m like, well, a lot of those fights that people probably would’ve wanted [for UFC 300] were on 299, for whatever reason. It doesn’t take much to kind of draw conclusions — [if] you want to build somebody up, you build [them] up and you bring the other eyeballs with all these other people.”
In December, Sterling was critical of O’Malley’s drawing power after he had received his pay-per-view bonus check from their UFC 292 clash. The promotion has not yet revealed the official buyrate for the event, but reports suggest it was somewhere in the range of 300,000 to 350,000 buys.
Aljamain Sterling Says O’Malley Needs to ‘Be Real’ with himself
In addition to the main event rematch between Sean O’Malley and Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, UFC 299 is stacked top-to-bottom with intriguing matchups, including the debut of Bellator MMA star Michael ‘Venom’ Page who faces fan favorite Kevin Holland. Fans will also see a lightweight clash between Dustin Poirier and Benoit Saint-Denis and the return of Gilbert Burns who meets Aussie standout Jack Della Maddalena.
O’Malley will be seeking a bit of redemption in the evening’s main event as he runs it back with the only man to hold a win over him inside the Octagon.
“I just think at some point you’ve got to be real with yourself in your analysis when you’re approaching these fights, and I just hope Sean is doing the right things to get himself prepared for this,” Sterling added. “May the best man win. I don’t have a dog in the race. I really don’t care as long as Merab [Dvalishvili] gets the next crack in the title.”