UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley, currently ranked No. 2 at 135 pounds, will challenge reigning division champion Aljamain Sterling in the UFC 292 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, locked and loaded for Sat., Aug. 19, 2023 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
The general consensus among MMA fans is that O’Malley will rely on his knockout power to neutralize the wrestling-based offense from Sterling. But “Funk Master” may not be on board with that assessment, suggesting “Sugar” is overrated in the power department based on his resume.
“I mean when is the last time he knocked anybody out, though? Are any of those guys even in the UFC anymore? Burn! We are going to find out, that’s the beauty about this sport, I can say what I want to say, he can say what he wants to say,” Sterling told The Schmo (transcribed by Cole Shelton). “But eventually, we are going to get locked in there on August 19, we will figure out August 19 who’s who. I’ll be four-time ‘Funk’ and after that, don’t call my phone, Dana, don’t call my phone Hunter, I’m on vacation for a very long time. Sean’s a tough dude, I’m not looking past him by any means. With that being said, I finish him in one.”
O’Malley is 8-1 with one No Contest since graduating Dana White’s “Contender Series” proving ground back in summer 2017, ending five of those eight wins by way of knockout or technical knockout. That includes his UFC 269 finish over Raulian Paiva in late 2021. As far as his strength of schedule, all five of those knockout victims have since parted ways with UFC.
“Sugar” was able to secure his Sterling title fight by capturing a close decision over former champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 last fall and will have an opportunity to prove Sterling wrong in “Beantown.” The 23-3 “Funk Master” is the winner of nine straight, having recently outlasted ex-champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 in Newark.