Aljamain Sterling is no stranger to quick title turnarounds and facing favoured opponents, and his upcoming UFC 292 headliner with Sean O'Malley is just more of the same. However, Sterling sees this fight as another chance to deny his most powerful doubters by defeating an opponent he believes has been given favorable treatment.
Sterling spoke about O'Malley on Jake Paul's "B.S." video podcast, saying, "He's fighting guys that are stationary, standing right in front of him. He takes his time, he lets them pick their shots, and then he picks his shots and he lays the better shots. I'm like, if you get a guy who's actually trying to wrestle him, it's a different fight, man. You get a guy with good footwork, it's not the same fight, man." Sterling believes that O'Malley's popularity has led to regular spots on the main cards of UFC pay-per-views, but he plans to show the world that doesn't correlate with talent.
Despite his tough upbringing and past opponents, Sterling has achieved great success in the octagon. In June, he broke the record for most consecutive bantamweight title defenses at 3 with a split call over former two-division UFC champ Henry Cejudo at UFC 288.
Sterling also spoke about his animosity towards Petr Yan, who he beat to capture the bantamweight belt, and how his upcoming fight with O'Malley has given him even more desire to prevail. He sees the UFC as his "pappy" and feels like he needs to prove something to them.
As he prepares to defend his title on Aug. 19 in Boston, Sterling is as high as a -375 favorite. O'Malley is a +200 underdog in most lines. Sterling is ready to prove the doubters wrong once again and cement his status as one of the best fighters in the UFC.