Aljamain Sterling teases UFC title defense against Sean O’Malley next: ‘Getting ready for ‘Sugar”

Aljamain Sterling Sean O'Malley
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger - Zuffa LLC

Despite claims from Dominance MMA leader, Ali Abdelaziz that his client, former duel-weight UFC champion, Henry Cejudo will snap his three-year MMA retirement to compete for undisputed bantamweight gold against champion, Alajmain Sterling, the latter appears to have focus set on #1 ranked contender, Sean O’Malley next, instead.

Sterling, the current undisputed bantamweight champion, co-headlined UFC 280 back in October of this year in Abu Dhabi, UAE – successfully defending his undisputed crown with a second round ground strikes TKO win over former two-time champion, T.J. Dillashaw.

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In the time since, Aljamain Sterling has been linked with a host of potential opponents for his next title fight, including both Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen – who have both since been matched to fight each other in February, as well as title fights with both O’Malley, and the aforenoted, Cejudo.

Sharing a post at the turn of the New Year, Sterling teased a return fight against Montana native in his next Octagon appearance, detailing how his training for 2022 had come to a close.

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“Last workout of 2022!” Aljamain Sterling said on his official Instagram account. “Getting ready for @sugasean (Sean O’Malley) (backpack emoji) 

Initially winning the undisputed title in a highly-publicized disqualification win over former champion, Petr Yan last year, Aljamain Sterling successfully unified the titles in April of last year in a rematch win over the Russian, prior to his October finish of Dillashaw.

At the same Abu Dhabi, UAE event, O’Malley earned the #1 rank in the official bantamweight pile with a close split decision win over Yan. And in the time since, has insisted he will likely wait to fight for a title in his next Octagon walk, rather than defend his status as number one contender. 

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Aljamain Sterling has been linked with a UFC 285 title clash against Henry Cejudo

Sterling had been linked continually with a title fight opposite Cejudo in March of this year at UFC 285, however, the matchup has yet to be officially announced by the organization.