Sean O’Malley Believes Henry Cejudo Should’ve Had His Hand Raised At UFC 288: ‘I Wanted That Fight Really Bad’

Sean O'Malley wanted Henry Cejudo to win because he doesn't like 'Triple C' and think he's an easier opponent than Aljamain Sterling.

Sean O'Malley
Sean O'Malley (Left) and Henry Cejudo taking down Aljamain Sterling (Images via Instagram @SugaSean and @UFC)

Sean O’Malley thought his preferred next opponent Henry Cejudo should’ve had his hand raised at UFC 288. 

On Saturday, May 6, Cejudo returned to the Octagon for the first time in three years. Despite his valiant effort, Aljamain Sterling defended the UFC 135-pound title by split decision. Similar to most close decisions, some people thought ‘Triple C’ deserved the win. During the UFC 288 post-fight press conference, O’Malley had this to say:

“I thought Henry was up 3-1 going into the fifth. I was honestly pretty surprised that Aljo won. I thought Henry did what he needed to do, but we’re in New York, we’re in New Jersey I mean… I thought he won. I thought Henry looked good. 

Sterling’s win at UFC 288 was his third title defense since taking the title from Petr Yan in March 2021. ‘Funk Master’ is riding a nine-fight win streak that dates back to April 2018. Meanwhile, Cejudo’s last loss before Saturday night was against Joseph Benavidez in December 2016. ‘Triple C’ was riding a six-fight win streak before coming up short inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. 

Watch Sean O’Malley’s UFC 288 post-fight press conference interview below:

Sean O’Malley wanted to fight Henry Cejudo for the UFC bantamweight championship

Sean O’Malley was sitting cageside at UFC 288, knowing he would be fighting the winner for the bantamweight world championship. During the same post-fight press conference, O’Malley was candid about wanting to fight Henry Cejudo over Aljamain Sterling because of the stylistic matchup. He had this to say: 

“I wanted that fight [against Henry Cejudo] really bad. I would’ve loved to put that dude to sleep… I thought Henry was a better stylistic matchup, but I also just really wanna slap that little dude. It would’ve been a win-win for me, but here we are.” 

O’Malley last fought in October 2022, defeating Petr Yan by split decision at UFC 280. As a result, ‘Sugar’ became the number one-ranked bantamweight, leading to a title shot in his next Octagon appearance. Dana White announced last night that the UFC hopes to book the 135-pound championship fight for August 19 at UFC 292 in Boston.

Watch Sean O’Malley’s Octagon faceoff with Aljamain Sterling below:

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