Aljamain Sterling is looking a little thick less than a week removed from this UFC 292 headliner with ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley.
On August 18, one day before his fourth defense of the bantamweight world championship, the ‘Funk Master’ successfully made the 135-pound limit for a title fight. Six days removed from his shocking second-round knockout loss inside Boston’s iconic TD Garden, Sterling is now 40 pounds heavier per a recent video shared on the former champ’s YouTube channel.
“I told myself I wasn’t going to get that heavy, but as you can see, the process has already begun,” Sterling said while showing off his belly. “I still got a little of a layer under there. A little bit of a layer of fat on the top. I checked my weight. I’m about 173 pounds I think, but I still got some time before vacation so I might do a couple subs.”
From there, Sterling steps on a scale to reveal that he is 175.5 pounds, more than 40 pounds heavier than the bantamweight championship limit of 135 he met just days prior.
“Don’t judge me,” Sterling added with a smile.
Aljamain Sterling put on 40lbs 5 days after his fight
— MMA Mania (@mmamania) August 25, 2023
It’s probably safe to assume that Aljamain Sterling won’t be running it back with Sean O’Malley this December, though recent rumors suggested that the ‘Funk Master’ has been offered a rematch for 2024.
With Aljamain Sterling Headed for Vacation, Who Will Sean O’Malley Defend His Title Against First?
Until then, the newly crowned bantamweight world champion has his sights set on returning to the Octagon for his first title defense at UFC 296 when the promotion closes out its pay-per-view schedule on December 16. The most likely scenario will see O’Malley square off with the only man to defeat him inside the Octagon thus far, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera.
‘Chito’ scored a first-round TKO against O’Malley in 2020 after ‘Sugar’ suffered a leg injury early in the opening round. O’Malley has often refused to acknowledge the loss, but that won’t stop him from attempting to get redemption for the only blemish on his UFC record thus far.
Other possibilities could see Sean O’Malley defend against No. 1 ranked bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili, or even former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo.
No matter who ‘Sugar’ puts the title on the line against first, it’s safe to say that Aljamain Sterling will be watching and waiting for his moment to strike back.